Quarters for Conservation is an exciting program that raises money to support wildlife conservation all over the world!
Upon entry to the Zoo, each guest is given a token representing 25 cents and asked to “vote” for their favorite project or organization at the Quarters for Conservation station. Additional contributions can be made with legal tender coins or bills. Three projects are featured at a time, rotating every three months.
Zoo guests funded the following projects in 2017:
Dominica Sperm Whale Project
Sperm whales, which can reach 60 feet in length and weigh up to 45 tons, were historically hunted for their spermaceti—a substance that fills their massive heads which may be used to regulate buoyancy. Though this practice ended decades ago, threats such as ship strikes, entanglements in fishing gear and environmental pollutants persist today, and long-term monitoring has shown populations are declining as much as four percent per year. The Dominica Sperm Whale Project is an innovative and integrative study of these deep ocean divers and the first to follow specific pods throughout the years. Funds from Quarters for conservation will support research, public outreach, media relations and local conservation projects intended to protect sperm whales.
Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project
The dugong is found in warm coastal waters of the Indian and west Pacific oceans. Related to manatees, they are similar in appearance and behavior, except for their fluked tail. The last viable population of dugongs in Africa is found along the Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique, where unsustainable fishing practices have led to the demise of vital seagrass habitats. The Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project is working with local fisherpeople to collect population data using mobile phone technology. Quarters for Conservation funds will help researchers continue focusing on sustainably conserving the seagrass habitat and saving dugongs in this region.
The Whales of Guerrero Research Project and Oceanic Society
The Mexican state of Guerrero is a marine mammal lover’s paradise with 14 species of whales and dolphins identified and counting! The Whales of Guerrero Research Project has discovered that Guerrero is an important calving, nursing and mating ground for an endangered group of humpback whales (there are only about 400 of them left). Many of the dolphins in the region are showing signs of illness, injury and starvation due to pollution, boat and net injuries, and lack of fish. Whales of Guerrero is working to protect marine mammal habitat through education, training and public awareness programs. Your support will allow this organization to share its scientific discoveries about this unknown population of whales and dolphins with the world, offer safe whale watch training programs, teach 1,200 kids about whales and dolphins and work with the community to bring the ocean and fishery back to health.
Looking to generate interest and support for your conservation project? Click here for information about Quarters for Conservation and the Wildlife Emergency Fund grants.