Billabong Zoo prides itself on being Ambassadors for Wildlife and is an advocate for ‘Conservation through Education’.
We use our ‘voice’ via our website, social media, schools programme and visitor Zoo Keeper talks to highlight the plight of animals, especially those on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Billabong Zoo cares for 10 ambassador animal species sadly on the Red List. We regularly highlight the plight of a particular species and promote the work of organisations doing great work to save and protect threatened species.
Who we support
Aussie Ark was established in 2011 as ‘Devil Ark’, with a focus on saving the iconic Tasmanian devil from extinction. Since then and due to overwhelming success, the role of the organisation has expanded, and now has vision of creating a long-term future for our threatened Australian species. Aussie Ark will secure wild sanctuaries to conserve our native wildlife, free from unnatural predation. Aussie Ark is an adaptive, innovative, private organisation, committed to changing the trajectory declining species. Aussie Ark is an incorporated association, registered environmental organisation and charitable institution under the Australian Charity and Not-for-profit Commission.
The Koala Hospital established in 1973 is an activity of the Koala Conservation Australia Incorporated - a Not-for-Profit Organisation which is recognised world-wide as a peak body which participates in forums for debate on significant policy issues and plays a significant leadership role in research, providing advice and information to Universities and Governments regulating change.
The Koala Hospital consists of a treatment room, 8 Intensive Care Units, 6 outdoor intensive care units and 33 rehabilitation yards, many of which have trees for koalas to learn to climb as part of the rehabilitation process.
It is not only a Hospital to treat sick and injured koalas but it is also involved in research with University Sydney, University Technology Queensland and the Australian Museum into koala diseases.
Between 200 and 250 koalas are admitted through the Hospital annually.
Apart from Chlamydia, motor vehicle accidents and dog attacks are the most common cause of injuries sustained, predominantly during the breeding season.
The Wombat Foundation - Saving the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat
The Wombat Foundation is the only organisation dedicated exclusively to the conservation of the Northern hairy-nosed wombat. Set up in 2004, the foundation has invested in research and recovery actions to conserve the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat. The board of directors consists of dedicated volunteers and no paid staff. Their vision is to see the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats living sustainably across their former range.
There were just 35 individuals left in the 1980’s in one location only, prompting the species to be added to the IUCN Red List of critically endangered species. From the persistent work by the foundation, there are now about 250 individuals across two locations. The majority at Epping Forest National Park in central Queensland and a small number in Richard Underwood Nature Refuge near St George in Queensland.
Competition for food with introduced species (cattle, sheep, and rabbits) is thought to have been a major cause of the wombats’ decline and it was recorded that 10% of the population was killed in wild dog attacks in 2000-2001.
The foundation has helped with the erection of fences and supplementary feed and water which saw numbers grow significantly.
There is still concern that one of the locations where the wombats are found is probably too small to sustain a viable population of wombats so the search is on for a larger site within the wombats’ historic range.
Your support is vital if we are to bring the Northern hairy-nosed wombat back from the brink of extinction.
The Cheetah Outreach Trust
Cheetah Outreach founded the Cheetah Outreach Trust in 2001. The main objective of the Cheetah Outreach Trust is to engage in or promote nature conservation and to develop and implement long term multi-disciplinary educational and conservation efforts for the survival of the free ranging cheetah and its ecosystem in remaining habitats in Southern Africa.
Today, there are only an estimated 7,100 cheetahs left in the wild.
The primary reason for the cheetah’s decline is shrinking range due to habitat loss throughout Africa. Drastic increases in human population and proliferation of domestic animals has led to loss of habitat and prey, and increasing conflict with man. There are about 1,326 cheetahs in South Africa, including 412 in Kruger NP, 80 in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, 334 in small fenced parks and private reserves, and about 500 free ranging cheetahs on farmlands in the northern part of the country.
The Cheetah Outreach Trust helps support programs for human predator conflict, education and research.
Red Panda Network
Red Panda Network began in 1997 on a trip to Sandukpur, Ilam. On a crystal clear day, with 6 inches of snow on the ground, Brian Williams and two of his Peace Corps friends were hiking along the Singhalila ridge soaking in one of the most spectacular views in all of the Himalaya.
Out of nowhere comes a foreign tourist running down the trail with his backpack swaying. He comes running up to us and asks, “Have you seen anybody today?“ (in a thick British accent). The three friends look at each other and say, “No. Why?” We're wondering what happened that would inspire someone from halfway around the world to be running around in 6 inches of snow at 12,000 feet, disregarding this amazing view. Then he says:
“Somebody's killed a red panda. I think it was a Nepalese person and they went back across the border.”
Brian said, “Nope we haven’t seen anyone. You’re the first person that we’ve seen today.” But in the back of our minds, all we could think about was…What’s a red panda? And why are they so important that they would cause this person to run around in the middle of nowhere trying to save one?
This one incident lead Brian on his quest to understand this shy, beautiful, elusive creature and to the creation of The Red Panda Project, which then became Red Panda Network. From 2002-2003, as a Nepal Fulbright Scholar, Brian became one of only 10 people to have studied red panda in the wild. For his study, he returned to Ilam and identified the distribution of red panda and threats to their habitat in Eastern Nepal. Through this research, Brian realized that something had to be done to raise awareness about the plight of red panda in Eastern Nepal and it was this inspiration that led to the creation of The Red Panda Network The global red panda population has declined by 50% over the last 20 years and there may be as few as 2,500 remaining in the wild.
Mission: Red Panda Network is committed to the conservation of wild red pandas and their habitat through the education and empowerment of local communities.
Vision: Red Panda Network envisions secure, viable populations of wild red panda thriving throughout their historic range. Preservation of this species and its habitat benefits the region, and, as a result, it is valued and protected by all.
The Snow Leopard Trust
Helen Freeman founded the Snow Leopard Trust in 1981. She embarked on a life-long quest to help these remarkable cats, and the Snow Leopard Trust was created to prevent the extinction of the endangered snow leopard in the wild.
Snow leopards live in vast home ranges - some cats have been known to use up to 1,000 square kilometres. While it is important to secure their key habitats through Protected Areas, it simply isn't enough.
To protect these endangered cats, we need to work at a larger landscape level, and find ways for snow leopards to coexist with the people sharing their habitat. This is the focus of the Snow Leopard Trust’s conservation approach.
Many of the families living in snow leopard habitat are herders who live on less than $2 per day and depend on their livestock for food and income. The snow leopard occasionally attacks and kills livestock, and members of these low-income communities sometimes resort to retaliation killings or poaching of snow leopards to protect their herds of livestock or earn extra money.
Their community-based conservation programs aim to break this cycle of poverty and create incentives for herders to protect local wildlife and ecosystems.
Billabong Zoo supports the Snow Leopard Trust by donating to their research in the field and buying products made by the villages to support them and in turn protecting the local wildlife.
Kevin Richardson Foundation
The Kevin Richardson Foundation is a non-profit conservation organisation with nature’s most majestic creature, the lion, at its heart. Launched in early 2018 the foundation is committed to changing and reversing the state of Africa’s declining lion population by purchasing habitat and raising awareness to create safe, natural spaces where lions and other native species can flourish. By partnering with specialised organisations and engaging with impoverished communities on the fringes of these protected areas, the foundation also aims to minimise human/wildlife conflict whilst improving living conditions for local villages.
In the last 80 years the wild lion population has declined from 450,000 to between 15,000 and 20,000. In the last 20 years the wild lion population has decreased by 43%.
The Kevin Richardson Foundation’s Mission is to:
- Acquire and protect key tracts of land to protect and expand natural lion habitats.
- Educate and empower communities surrounding conservation areas.
- Create a worldwide community of lion conservation collaborators.
- Maintain and protect the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary and its lions and help bring an end to the Canned Lion Hunting Industry.