The Need for Conservation
"The beauty, majesty, and timelessness of a primary rainforest are indescribable. It is impossible to capture on film, to describe in words, or to explain to those who have never had the awe-inspiring experience of standing in the heart of a primary rainforest. We are losing Earth's greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years." (Taken from Rainforest Facts on the Raintree website: http://www.rain-tree.com)
"Hundreds of reptiles are endangered. And the problem could be greater than we think. Scientists estimate that there may be thousands of reptile species still undiscovered. Some species may go extinct before we even know they exist. Conservation organizations work at local, national, and international levels to prevent reptile extinction. Their efforts include: breeding endangered reptiles; combating illegal capture and trade for pets, food, and skins; making the case for the creation of sanctuaries and reserves; and conducting research to increase our understanding of reptiles and their needs." (taken from the Smithsonian National Zoological Park website
The GLZS Zoo hopes to play a role in helping to conserve some of the world's endangered reptiles.
- Propagate and Release:
The Great Lakes Zoological Society is seeking funds to start and maintain several conservation programs whose initiative is to increase natural populations of reptiles. Potential programs would involve both Michigan indigenous species such as the Massasauga rattlesnake, Fox snake, or wood turtle; as well as global endangered species such as the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana, West African Dwarf Crocodile, or Indian Gharial.
- Captive Breeding:
The Conservation Center would also like to take on several captive breeding projects to maintain captive populations of hard to breed animals as a hedge against a total habitat destruction of these species. Potential projects could be species such as Varanus salvadorii, Cordylus giganteus, or Dracaena guianensis.