Your Change Makes 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.
Mountain Lion Foundation
Mountain Lion – Puma concolor
Once ranging freely throughout North and South America, the mountain lion was on the brink of extinction across the entire United States by the early 1960s. While mountain lion population levels have since rebounded within some western states, mountain lions still face extermination in those areas where human development is greatest. Today, there are fewer than 4,000 mountain lions living in California – a number that continues to decline.
Not enough is known about the movements, habitat and resource use of mountain lions in the valleys and river systems of California. The Mountain Lion Foundation is working with volunteers to locate local mountain lions on camera to record their presence and behavior, to provide data to scientists to find and track individual lions, and to make the effort visible so the public can better understand the challenges Mountain Lions continue to face in California as well as the contributions that people can make to further mountain lion conservation.
Visit Mountain Lion Foundation for more information about their work.
Red Panda Network
Red Panda – Ailurus fulgens
Red pandas live in high altitude temperate forests with bamboo understories in the Himalayas and high mountains. Red pandas are endangered; the primary threats they face are habitat loss and degradation, human interference and poaching. Researchers believe that the total population of red pandas has declined by 50% over the past two decades. Part of the difficulty in conserving red pandas relates to their unique habitat. These animals require a specific set of circumstances to optimize survival—proximity to water sources, appropriate forest cover and altitude, and sufficient bamboo, among others—and as human encroachment continues to grow, these ideal habitats become increasingly more difficult to find.
The Red Panda Network (RPN) is committed to the conservation of wild red panda and their habitat through education and empowerment of local communities. RPN’s community-based conservation program embraces an integrated conservation approach, where scientific research, community education and conservation methods intertwine to promote long-term, landscape-level conservation. The is to protect and preserve habitat for this Vulnerable species within the temperate forest in the mountains of Nepal.
Visit Red Panda Network for more information about their work.
Union Island Gecko Conservation
Union Island Gecko – Gonatodes daudini
The Union Island gecko is one of the most threatened animals in the Caribbean. This beautiful, two inch-long lizard’s home is entirely restricted to 130 acres of an exceptionally species-rich forest above Chatham Bay on Union Island. Here, it is highly vulnerable to a variety of threats including invasive alien predators, habitat loss and unregulated collection for the international pet trade. In 2011 the gecko was listed as Critically Endangered signifying its extremely high risk of becoming extinct. Union Island geckos are being illegally collected and openly advertised for sale by reptile traders in Europe and North America. Collectors are not only removing wild geckos but causing serious damage to their habitat by overturning rocks and logs.
The Union Island Gecko Conservation Action Plan was developed using a participatory process involving many individuals and organizations, including agencies with a mandate for managing wildlife on Union Island. The Action Plan’s objectives include the preservation of Chatham Bay Forest; public outreach and education designed to increase understanding of the need to conserve the Union Island gecko and its habitat; the establishment of systems to prevent the introduction of harmful, invasive species; and research and monitoring to increase overall knowledge of the gecko and the threats to the species and its environment.
Additional Quarters for Conservation Funding
In 2015 the zoo increased 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, Conservation Carousel, trekking up the Kilimanjaro Climb, participating in a giraffe encounter or experiencing the Serengeti Cyclone, a quarter is 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.
In 2016, Quarters for Conservation supported Borneo small wild cat conservation, greater sandhill crane conservation and Southern African vulture conservation. We are still counting up the votes but will share the totals soon.
In 2015 visitors voted for how $50,000 was to be divided among three programs by voting at the Quarters for Conservation wishing wells. The local tri-colored blackbird program received 114,846 votes, the giant anteater/armadillo program received 114,928 votes and the highest votes went to the Snow Leopard Conservancy with 200,158 votes.
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, 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 Partners page for details on other projects.