Quarters for Conservation

Giving endangered species a helping hand


Melanie Davoudlarian

Many animals are making their way onto the endangered animals list. A lot of people don’t realize that some of the animals are critically endangered and are near to extinction. Zoo Atlanta is one of many zoos trying to save these animals from extinction.

Quarters for Conservation is just one of the ways they are helping animals like tigers, pandas, lions, fossas, drills, gorillas, rhinos, elephants, and many others. At Zoo Atlanta when you purchase a general admission ticket, you can walk up to a blue kiosk at the main entrance and vote for one of the three animals they are focusing on this year.

Drills, the largest monkey species in the world native to Africa, are currently only found in small segmented areas across Nigeria, Cameroon, Bioko Island, and Equatorial Guinea. The drill moneys were on the brink of extinction in the 1980s ; the monkeys face many threats from habitat loss and poaching for the bushmeat trade.

The bushmeat trade refers to the illegal over-hunting of wildlife for meat and income. Bushmeat trade mainly occurs in countries in Africa. In Nigeria, farming and illegal logging have claimed more than 95 percent of drills rainforest habitat. Unfortunately, there is a estimation that shows that only about 3,000 of this monkey species is left.

If choosing to vote for the drills, the vote would help rescue and rehabilitation efforts and managed breeding programs, through Pandrillus Foundations with the goal of releasing these shy but social animals back into the wild.

Lions are another animal that Quarters for Conservation is supporting. “Lions represent strength and courage, the lion has served as one of the most commonly recognized animal symbols in human culture,”(Zoo Atlanta).

In the last 50 years, the lion population has decreased by almost 50 percent. Lions, once roamed almost all of Africa, as well as parts of Europe and Asia, has been reduced to only 17 percent of its habitat of its historical habitat range and is absent from at least 26 African countries.

Lions encounter threats such as illegal poaching, habitat loss, and a major conflict, is the conflict between humans and lions. The fear of Lion attacks is a very high amount, a lot of people are scared for small children and pets. Some hunters will also shoot at lions for game, slashing their heads to hang in homes as trophies.

Supporting the Lion Guardians program, employs young Maasai warriors who viewed lion killings as a rite of passage, to now train to protect the lion population. Lion Guardians monitor the lion populations and works to lion-proof livestock pens. With the help from Quarters for Conservation, the Lion Guardians can continue to pursue their hopes to give lions more of their land back.

The Madagascar Fossa is at risk as well. The largest carnivore on the island of Madagascar is now facing major habitat loss. Eighty percent of the fossa’s forest has been destroyed for the slash-and-burn agriculture. Most of this deforestation is for the use of cattle farming, timber harvest, and charcoal production. Habitat loss and habitat fragmentation have caused the population to rapidly decline.

Rare tropical tree such as Dragon Tree, Baobob Tree, and the Monkey Puzzle Tree, and others, are being cut down for timber. ┬áThe fossa needs a lot of range and bothered forest area to take shelter and to hunt, since the forest areas have been getting cut down, the fossa’s are having to go into the villages to hunt chickens as a last resort of food. Helping Rain forest Trust will increase their chances of establishing a 3,460-acre, Lost Rain forest Reserve to create a safe habitat for fossas and the many other species found only on Madagascar.

Between drills, lions, and fossas, the Quarters for Conservation is making a huge impact on the lives of many animals around the world. If no support is given to this conservation act, there could be less chances for these animals survival.