I am a member of the International Zoo Educators Association and often use the association’s expertise and resources in developing or researching our zoo programs. I came across the following information on their website today. I thought it was really good and worth sharing.
If you have any other ideas on how you can make a difference, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will add them to this list or leave a comment on this blog! Thanks for helping and thanks for reading our zoo blog. With a few simple actions, every one of us can make a difference for wildlife. All the best, Scott.
The conservation actions below are sustainable practices based on Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s 7 Guidelines to Wildlife Conservation.
Seek out information about conservation issues.
- Read a book about your favorite animal and learn all you can about it
- Subscribe to wildlife conservation magazines like National Geographic or Owlkids
- Watch wildlife shows on television
- Contact local chapters of conservation groups to find out what they’re doing in your areas
- Obtain a list of endangered plant and animal species from CITES or from your national list (For Canada: http://www.cites.ec.gc.ca/eng/sct0/index_e.cfm )
Spread the word to others about the value of wildlife.
- Encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to reduce, reuse, and recycle (And compost too!)
- Speak up for wildlife. Let your friends and family know how much you care about animals
- Teach children to respect nature and the environment (Children can help teach their parents too!)
- Take children camping, hiking, or on zoo and aquarium trips (Visit the Assiniboine Park and Zoo!)
- Ensure schools have a balanced environmental education program (Take a field trip to the zoo)
Look for and purchase products that are friendly to the environment.
- “Adopt” an animal or habitat as a present for family or friends (Get a Zoodoption from the Zoo Society of Manitoba HERE)
- Take a thermos for lunch instead of a juice box to save on packaging
- Shop for school supplies that are made from recycled materials
- Use organic fertilizers
- Don’t buy ivory, or other products, made from wild animals
- Purchase shade grown coffee that benefits wildlife by conserving forests
Create habitats for wildlife in your backyard.
- Hang a bird feeder, put out a birdbath, or plant a small tree to show you care for wildlife
- Plant a wildlife garden with flowers that butterflies like
- Help your family build a bat box to eat all the mosquitoes in your backyard
- Create a small pond in your backyard for aquatic wildlife
- Contain domestic pets so they do not disturb wildlife
- Help children discover the many wonders of their backyard, like the tiny world of insects (Zoo Camp is a great way to do this)
Reduce, reuses, recycle and replenish.
- Recycle everything you can; newspapers, glass, cans, foil, etc.
- Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. This saves precious water
- Ride the bus, the subway, bike or walk to school instead of taking you car — this saves energy and keeps you fit too!
- Use cold water in the washer whenever possible (both your dishwasher and your clothes washer)
- Take unwanted, reusable items to charitable organizations or thrift shops
- Lower your thermostat one degree per hour for every hour that you are away
Choose your pets wisely
- Leave wild babies where you find them, their mothers can care for them best
- Be a responsible pet owner. Make sure they have food, water, and a safe, comfortable place to live
- Learn everything about the pet you want. Some pets have a very long life span – a tortoise or parrot may live over 100 years!
- Veterinary expenses for wild or exotic pets can be high
- Be sure the pet you choose was not taken from the wild (Learn about the illegal pet trade at one of our school and group programs)
- Some animals have special care needs; be sure you are aware of these and can provide the care and costs that are required
Support conservation organizations through contributions and volunteerism.
- Join a beach or river clean-up
- Visit a nature park where the money will go to help wildlife
- Join a conservation organization
- Volunteer at your local zoo or nature center
- Contribute dollars to conservation programs (Contact the Zoological Society for donation information: http://zoosociety.com/fundraising_donations.asp )
Thanks to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and IZE for the list