Association of Zoos and Aquariums Ape Taxon Advisory Group Conservation Initiative
The Dallas Zoo is a participating sponsor of the AZA Ape Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) Conservation Initiative, which has developed an eight-project campaign supporting the future of one of the planet’s most imperiled group of animals – apes. For apes – bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, and siamangs – the outlook in the wild is bleak. It is estimated that some ape species will be extinct within 20 years. The Ape TAG Conservation Initiative is funding eight field conservation projects, one for each of the great ape species and two for gibbons and siamangs. The initiative increases the number of zoos contributing to projects in the wild, strengthens support for community education and local law enforcement in countries with wild apes, and provides zoos with resources to demonstrate their commitment to saving apes.
The eight projects funded by the Ape TAG Conservation Initiative include:
- Establishment of a national chimpanzee disease and health monitoring programme based at Budongo Conservation Field Station (Uganda)
- The Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Combating illegal wildlife trade in central Africa (Cameroon)
- Protection and monitoring of Grauer’s gorillas in the lowland sectors of Kahuzi Beiga National Park (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Assessing chances of survival of the orangutan in manmade landscape (Borneo, Malaysia)
- Ketambe Reforestation and Ecotourism Development Initiative (Sumatra, Indonesia)
- Long-term ecological research and conservation of the Cao Vit gibbon in China
- Population mapping of gibbons in Kalimantan, Indonesia
In addition to the eight projects, a percentage of the funds from the participating zoos are dedicated for ape sanctuaries in Africa and Asia. Sanctuaries play an important role in ape conservation, particularly through their efforts in law enforcement and conservation education.
For more information, please visit the AZA Ape TAG Conservation Initiative website.