Conservation Projects

Conservation Projects

Supported by the Zoological Society of Milwaukee

Great apes, black rhinos, African elephants, Amur tigers, Guam rails, whooping cranes—these endangered animals and many more get help from the Zoological Society of Milwaukee. Learn about our conservation efforts. Click on a topic or an animal from the list below. You’ll get a synopsis of the conservation research or project. From there, you also can read past stories that have been written about the projects in Zoological Society publications. Meanwhile, for an overview:

Conservation—of animals and habitat—is one of the key missions of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM). For nearly a century the ZSM has supported conservation in a variety of ways:

  1. The ZSM’s own conservation programs. The key programs since 1996 and 1997 have been:
    1. Birds Without Borders-Aves Sin Fronteras®, which is a research-conservation-education project stretching from Wisconsin to the Central American country of Belize. The project has been run jointly with the Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, Inc. (FWC), but in 2009 the FWC is taking over management of the project; and
    2. The Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative (BCBI), which includes several projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Africa) helping both bonobos (rare great apes) and people living near these endangered animals.
  2. Milwaukee County Zoo projects that the ZSM supports financially. These include projects conducted at the Zoo as well as field projects that Zoo staff help with in other states and countries.
  3. Projects recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Milwaukee County Zoo is required by AZA to support conservation efforts in the field to help endangered species. As part of its commitment to support the Zoo, the Zoological Society provides funding to many of these conservation projects that the Zoo and AZA recommend, ranging from Amur tiger research in Asia to elephant studies in Africa.
  4. Projects by other conservation organizations. Two key groups that the ZSM and the Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, Inc., have supported over the years are the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and the Lewa Conservancy in Kenya (a wildlife reserve that protects elephants, rhinos, zebras and many other endangered animals). The ZSM also has worked actively with the World Wildlife Fund and other groups.
  5. Conservation grants for graduate students at Wisconsin universities. Over the years the ZSM and the Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, Inc., have provided thousands of dollars for graduate students to study conservation of wildlife from bats to prairie mammals.
  6. Dr. Gay R. Reinartz, the ZSM’s conservation coordinator, is also coordinator of the Bonobo Species Survival Plan of the AZA. The Zoological Society financially supports her work for the Bonobo SSP.
  7. Support for the Zoo as a sanctuary for animals that would have been killed or captured in the wild. From saving wild jaguars in Belize to breeding the most endangered birds in the world and re-introducing them into the wild, the ZSM supports the Zoo as a conservation sanctuary.

Additional Conservation Projects/Stories