Theme 1: Biodiversity Conservation

Target: To achieve biodiversity conservation, we will use ecological and sociological research to provide answers to biodiversity management questions that will lead to practical action in Africa and the UK, and also beyond through collaboration with other conservation organisations, particularly zoos.

Conservation in Africa

The longest-running area of CIRCLE research has focussed on tropical forests, through the Udzungwa Forest Project in Tanzania (East Africa). Tropical forests remain highly threatened despite containing more species than any other terrestrial habitat. CIRCLE research is investigating how key plant and animal species can be used for indicating declines in forest health, while also testing methods for monitoring and managing conservation projects. Much of the research is focussed around primates, trees, and human livelihoods. The work is expected to provide managers of forests with a means of improving and protecting biodiversity for the future.

Current research:

  • Development of indicators of conservation success in tropical forest;
  • Trial of methods for forest restoration;
  • Description of new species of Polyceratocarpus tree.

Read more on the UFP page here

 

Conservation in the UK

Human impacts on the UK countryside have led to 492 species extinctions in the last 200 years. CIRCLE research is assessing regional progress towards UK Biodiversity Action Plan targets, which aim to redress this loss. Our research for UK wildlife includes a variety of small and large scale projects aimed at supporting, monitoring and improving biodiversity under the first formal zoo Biodiversity Action Plan, in operation at Flamingo Land. Primarily, we are using our methods developed through the Udzungwa Forest Project in Africa for determining conservation success, including measures of habitat health, species numbers, and knowledge about the environment among Flamingo Land staff and visitors.

Current research:

  • Development of indicators of native conservation success on zoological garden land;
  • Determining methods for reducing bird-strikes on windows.

Read more about Zoo BAPs page here