Quarters for Conservation
Give Your Change to Make Change
The Sacramento Zoo is increasing its commitment to conservation by supporting exciting field conservation projects both locally and around the globe with the Quarters for Conservation program. Through the collection of quarters, the Zoo provides funding for wildlife conservation projects. You, our members and visitors, are part of this exciting contribution to wildlife conservation.
How it Works
As you enter the Zoo, you'll receive a token representing your contribution to conservation. The token enables you to vote for a conservation project of your choice–your vote helps us determine how much funding each project receives. You’ll have an opportunity to learn more about the projects and cast your vote at the Zoo’s Entry Plaza.
Each project is guaranteed $5,000 annually with additional funding based on the number of votes each project receives.
Snow Leopard Conservation
On “the roof of the world” in the mountain ranges of Asia the Snow Leopard is a top predator, perfectly adapted to the harsh conditions of its habitat. A cushion of hair on the bottom of their feet increases the surface area, acting like snow shoes and protecting their feet from the cold. Although an apex predator, Snow Leopards face multiple threats that are bringing the species closer to extinction with as few as 4,500 remaining in the wild today.
The Snow Leopard Conservancy (SLC) works with local people to find ways for them to live coexist in the same regions as Snow Leopards. SLC is currently working with light and sound deterrents, activated by a motion sensor, to protect local sheep and goat herds. This project centers on electronic predator deterrent devices, which enable communities to live more harmoniously with Snow Leopards.
For more information, visit the Snow Leopard Conservancy website.
Tricolored Blackbird Conservation
The Tricolored Blackbird is a true Californian, found almost exclusively within the state. They breed in the spring in huge flocks of up to a thousand birds in one spot and then mix into flocks with other blackbirds for the rest of the year. With 95% of wetlands gone from the Central Valley of California, hungry Tricolored Blackbirds now nest in agricultural fields where their nests are at risk. Dairy farmers who delay their harvest until after nestlings fledge have helped stem the dwindling population.
The Tricolored Blackbird Project’s goal is to protect all of the Tricolored Blackbird nesting colonies at risk of destruction on agricultural fields in the Central Valley of California. They are creating outreach and education materials, establishing a nest monitoring system and partnerships with the dairy industry and landowners who have colonies in their fields.
For more information about Tricolored Blackbird conservation visit the Audobon California website.
Giant Armadillo and Giant Anteater Conservation
Priodontes maximus and Myrmecophaga tridactyla
Giant Armadillos and Giant Anteaters share much of the same range in in South America. The Giant Armadillo is the largest of the armadillo species and can reach up to 5 feet in length and weigh up to 110 pounds. They are ecosystem engineers, animals that create or modify habitats. Research in the Brazilian Pantanal shows that Giant Armadillo burrows are an important shelter and thermal refuge to over 25 species. Both Giant Anteaters and Giant Armadillos are classified as vulnerable with their numbers declining in the wild.
The group is working with several Brazilian laboratories, universities and the São Paulo Zoo to continue establishing the first long-term ecological study of Giant Armadillos and Giant Anteaters in the Brazilian Pantanal. This project is investigating the ecology and biology of these species and better understanding their function in the ecosystem. Radio transmitters, camera traps, burrow surveys, resource monitoring, resource mapping and interviews with local ranchers enable the scientists to understand how Giant Armadillos and Giant Anteaters use their environment.
Additional Quarters for Conservation Funding
In 2015 the Zoo is increasing its commitment to conservation. In addition to the Quarters for Conservation program where visitors get to vote for a project, every time a guest has fun riding the train, carousel, participating in a giraffe encounter or experiencing the Serengeti Cyclone, a quarter will be added to the Sacramento Zoo’s conservation fund. This is in addition to existing programs such as the 2% of membership support that goes to wildlife conservation that was started in 2008.
2014 tallied a total of 370,141 votes for the Quarters for Conservation programs. Visitors decided how the $50,000 was to be divided between an Artificial Penguin Nest Project, Sumatran Tiger Conservation and locally, Pacific Fisher Conservation.
The 2013 programs were the local Riparian Brush Rabbit Recovery program, the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary project and the Masai Giraffe Conservation program. Each of these species is facing trouble in their natural habitat and plays an important part in their local ecosystem. In 2013 there were 379,282 votes cast for the three projects listed above. In total $50,000 was divided amongst the three projects, with the amount determined by the number of votes each project received.
In 2012, the inaugural year of Quarters for Conservation, 283,653 votes were cast for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, the Mabula Ground Hornbill Conservation Project and, locally, the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society. $50,000 was divided amongst the three projects, with the amount determined by the number of votes each project received. The Quarters for Conservation program is replicated at other zoos throughout the United States.
The Sacramento Zoo supports many other conservation efforts around the world.
Visit the Conservation Action page for details on other projects.