An ambitious strategy has been launched by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) which aims to reverse the decline of at least 50 species by 2030.
The wildlife conservation charity has also pledged to significantly increase the number of people and communities protecting nature. With more than a million species at risk of extinction, Earth's life support system is in crisis and the time to act is now. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has an important role to play because the charity's teams have incredible expertise in conservation science and animal care.
A perfect example is the ground-breaking Saving Wildcats project RZSS is leading at Highland Wildlife Park, working with national and international partners to restore Scotland's critically endangered wildcat population by breeding and releasing wildcats into carefully selected locations in the Cairngorms National Park.
RZSS will also develop plans to save other native Scottish animals, including pine hoverflies and pond mud snails. Internationally, the species the organisation is working with partners to protect include chimpanzees in Uganda, giant anteaters and giant armadillos in Brazil and Pallas's cats in Central Asia.
The charity's 2030 strategy also aims to create deeper connections with nature for more than a million people.
Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park are gateways to the natural world which enable millions of people to experience wildlife. This is very important because people protect and value what they love and understand, and few will ever have the hugely expensive luxury of seeing animals like giraffes, sun bears and polar bears in the wild.
Stronger communities have a greater capacity to care for wildlife and zoos are in a unique position to help people realise the mental and physical health and wellbeing benefits of being close to nature. Therefore, RZSS has pledged to enable more than 100 communities to better protect nature. This work will include outreach programmes beyond the boundaries of the zoos as well as empowering a wide range of community groups across Scotland and around the world.
Nature needs support more than ever and everyone can help create a world where nature is protected, valued, and loved.
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