address19246 James Monroe Hwy Leesburg, VA 20175

Conservation Corner

Macaw Recovery Network

Mission: To recover endangered neotropical parrot populations through leading a network that develops and implements best practices in conservation.

In 2018, the Network was founded after nearly a decade working in parrot conservation in Costa Rica. As our focus shifted from a local to a more range-wide approach, the need for a network became apparent. Our Network is professionally staffed by local and international experts and volunteers who work to save and restore parrot populations across the Neo-tropics. Our primary focus is the critically endangered Great Green Macaw – who are in desperate need of our attention due to their rapid population decline.

Great Green Macaw
Wild population: 500-1000; about 300 in Costa Rica

Status: IUCN Red Listed as Critically Endangered. The Great green Macaw was once prevalent throughout the entire Caribbean slope. Approximately since the 1970’s, the bird populations have declined. The main cause is the loss of forest habitat and in particular the destruction of Mountain Almond trees, which they rely on for feeding and nesting. Over time, branches of the tree naturally break off, leaving large cavities in the trunks of the trees that provide a hollowed nest.

Travis. One of the Macaws at Leesburg Animal Park.

Why Parrots:

Parrots are the most charismatic, intelligent and recognizable of all birds, yet they face numerous threats to their survival. Parrots inspire a sense of awe and wonder, making them ideal flagships for conservation. By saving parrots, we can save entire ecosystems.

Threats to Parrots:

  • Historic exploitation for the pet bird trade; and even though legally protected in Costa Rica since 1993, illegal poaching continues to date.
  • Historic deforestation of forest to cattle pasture and agricultural plantations (oil-palm, banana, and pineapple)
  • For the Great Green Macaw specifically loss of Mountain Almond trees for timber.
  • Limited potential for reproduction in secondary forests lacking ancient trees.

How to support Macaw Recovery Network:

Donate: Help safeguard the future for Macaws. Make a one-time gift or become a beak buddy and join the movement.

Adopt a Macaw: When you symbolically adopt a Macaw, your gift will support our programs to protect wild Macaws, provide artificial nests, and care for rescued breeding Macaws.


The 2019-2020 Australian Bushfire Season

Colloquially known as the Black Summer, November 2019 to March 2020 was a period of unusually intense bushfires in many parts of Australia. As of March 9th, 2020, the fires burnt an estimated 46 million acres and affected at least three billion terrestrial vertebrates. The vast majority were reptiles and some endangered species were believed to be driven to extinction. These bushfires forced many people to jump in and help the wildlife that survived.

Why donate to Bushfire Wildlife Rescue and Support?

Some medical supplies, such as flamazine burn cream, cost over $50 a tube. With thousands of burnt, injured, orphaned, and dying animals there is a need for many medical supplies. BWRS has raised funds to send bandages, eye solutions, antiseptic creams, vet wraps, needles, and more to those taking care of the injured animals. BWRS has also installed enclosures for rehabilitation of kangaroos, bats, birds, koalas, possums, and wombats. These injured animals are still under human care, and they still need medications and proper care. With your help, BWRS can continue to support the wildlife rehabilitators that are caring for the many animals affected by the fires.

AmbersNatureArt

AmbersNatureArt has painted and donated a canvas bag for Leesburg Animal Park to raffle off. All proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the Bushfire Wild Rescue and Support. You can join the raffle on the Leesburg Animal Park Facebook page in December (just in time for Christmas)!

Amber has had a passion for nature and art throughout her life. Having lived in many different environments, Amber, has been constantly inspired by the beauty of wildlife for her impressionist art pieces.

Amber has many pieces of art available including paintings, canvas bags, mugs, hats, etc. You can see her pieces online at ambersnatureart.com.

How can you help?

  • Support Bushfire Wildlife Rescue and Support’s work by donating to their Go Fund Me.
  • Join our Facebook raffle for a hand painted canvas bag by AmbersNatureArt on the Leesburg Animal Park Facebook page in December!
  • Follow the BWRS Facebook community page: Bushfire Wildlife Rescue and Support
  • Find out how to donate money and supplies by emailing Jodie at jodie.blackney1@hotmail.com (allow time for response as she is busy caring for animals)
  • If you are interested in crocheting birds nests or wallaby/kangaroo pouches: Please contact our Education Manager, Miranda, at booking@leesburganimalpark.com for crochet and sewing patterns.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

What is Ornithology?

Ornithology is the scientific study of birds. Studies on birds have helped develop key concepts in biology including evolution, behaviour and ecology such as the definition of species, the process of speciation, instinct, learning, ecological niches, guilds, island biogeography, phylogeography, and conservation (Mayr, 1984)

Who is Cornell Lab of Ornithology?

Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a part of Cornell University, based in Upstate New York. As one of the leading platforms in bird conservation, they have created ways to keep track of birds all around the world with the use of one application. This application, called eBird, can be downloaded on anyone’s phone and can be used when birding. eBird helps scientists make conservation decisions, it aids with research on birds from around the world, helps students on projects in school, and more.

How You Can Help Support the Cause


Anyone can help by going outside and observing birds, checking for behaviors as well as physical attributes. Donating to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is also a great way to help support the study of birds.

Download the App

Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab lets user get identification help and discover what birds to look for near you.

Enter size, color and behavior to identify your bird. Download the app here.

Donate

Semper K9

Every quarter Leesburg Animal Park donates $500 to a new conservation organization. Learn about some of the organizations we support and how you can help out below.

USMC combat veteran Christopher Baity and his wife, Amanda, founded Semper K9 in 2014. Semper K9 rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to be service dogs at no cost for disabled service members. Semper K9’s service dogs for veterans program provides custom-trained service dogs for wounded service members and their families.

Semper K9 is completely volunteer based with 125 plus volunteers. They recently purchased 33 acres adjacent to Marine Corps Base where they plan to build a retreat-style facility for out of area veterans and their families to come and train with their service dogs. You can check out their website at www.semperk9.org

How to help:

  • Become a K9 Coach
    • http://www.semperk9.org/get-involved/become-a-k9-coach/
  • Host a Fundraising Event
    • http://www.semperk9.org/host-an-event-or-fundraiser-for-semper-k9/
  • Donate
    • https://donate.semperk9.org/give/169047/#!/donation/checkout
  • Amazon Wish List
    • https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1G9T1S9E7BEFK/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_2?pldnSite=1

Gibbon Conservation Center

Every quarter Leesburg Animal Park donates $500 to a new conservation organization. Learn about some of the organizations we support and how you can help out below.

“A non-profit center to promote the conservation, study and care of gibbons through public education and habitat preservation.” (GCC, 2017)

“A non-profit center to promote the conservation, study and care of gibbons through public education and habitat preservation.” (GCC, 2017)

About the Gibbon Conservation Center

  • Established in 1976 by Alan Richard Mootnick.
  • The only institution to house and breed all four genera of gibbon.
  • Reproduced 7 species of gibbons.
  • Provides non-invasive research for students and scientists.
  • Participates in all relevant Species Survival Plans.
  • Provides consulting services to zoos, museums, government agencies on species identification and gibbon care.
  • Assists with gibbon rescue programs in Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia.
  • Offers educational opportunities for all ages.

All about Gibbons:

“These acrobatic mammals, endemic to the dense forests of southern Asia, are perfectly adapted to life in the trees and rarely descend to the ground. They have strong, hook-shaped hands for grasping branches, comically outsize arms for reaching faraway limbs, and long, powerful legs for propelling and grasping. Their shoulder joints are even specially adapted to allow greater range of motion when swinging.” (Nat Geo, 2019)

“These iconic tree dwellers are among the most threatened primates on Earth. Their habitat is disappearing at a rapid rate, and they are often captured and sold as pets or killed for use in traditional medicines. Many species of gibbon are listed as endangered or critically endangered.” (Nat Geo, 2019)

How to Help:

West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center

The West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center (WVRRC) is a non-profit (501-c-3) organization dedicated to the care of injured, sick and orphaned birds of prey for their eventual release into the wild.

Mission: To rehabilitate and release injured and orphaned birds of prey and to provide environmental education programs to the public for the benefit of all living things

Rehabilitation: Every day WVRRC volunteers care for injured and orphaned hawks, owls, eagles, falcons, and vultures.

Education: Each year WVRRC conducts over 100 environmental education programs throughout West Virginia.

Why is WVRRC needed?
Most injuries to raptors are inflicted by collisions with cars and buildings, entanglements in fences, illegal trapping, shooting and poisoning. Federal laws carry stiff penalties to protect birds of prey and all migratory birds from intentional harm by humans. There is, unfortunately, still much need for rehabilitation centers like ours. The WVRRC was established to rehabilitate all raptors which include hawks, falcons, eagles, owls, and vultures. The injuries are varied and may require the birds to stay at our facility for a few days, weeks, or even months. Non-releasable birds stay at the center and are used in conjunction with our environmental education programs or are given to other nature centers.

Learn more about WVRRC at their website and make a donation!

http://www.wvrrc.org/

Save The Rhino

Black rhino, Etosha, Namibia

This quarter, we sponsored Save The Rhino International, a non-profit organization working to protect rhinos and grow the global population.

Save the Rhino helps protect all five rhino species, with an emphasis on the three Critically Endangered species: the Black, Sumatran and Javan.  They work to provide ranger teams with the supplies needed to protect rhinos from poachers.  They support planned and emergency veterinary interventions for rhino calves being hand-reared in bomas or bred in the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, and transmitters and radio frequency tags to help track rhinos in the wild.

Save the Rhino International is committed to addressing the source of the demand for rhino horn, and reducing consumer behavior across South East Asia. They are engaged with two demand reduction initiatives with Education for Nature Vietnam and Traffic, working tirelessly in Vietnam with communities to reduce consumer behaviors that are driving rhinos towards extinction.

Please review the attached information and consider supporting rhino conservation.

Learn more at: www.savetherhino.org

THREATS TO RHINOS

REASONS TO SAVE RHINOS

Adopt a Bonobo

As part of an ongoing campaign to support global conservation efforts, the Leesburg Animal Park has “adopted” a Bonobo by the name of N’Djili living at the Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary in the Congo.

Lola Ya Bonobo is the world’s only organization to provide lifetime care to bonobos orphaned by the illegal trade in endangered wildlife.  They are on the front line in the battle to protect bonobos in the only country they are found – The Democratic Republic of Congo.

N’Djili is a 2 year-old female Bonobo who was rescued from living in a bar with an owl and other exotic animals.  She is a sweet, shy baby, and the youngest of the group. Her favorite activity is being carried around to explore the forest by some of the older bonobos in the nursery.

To learn about Bonobos and to donate, please visit:

http://www.lolayabonobo.org/what-we-do/

Celebrate the World Lemur Festival with us at Leesburg Animal Park!

Learn about lemurs and the amazing biodiversity in Madagascar. Enjoy these fun activity sheets (for kids and adults!) and find out more via the links below!

Learn More:

Activity Sheets:

Click below to download a PDF

howcanihelplemurs
lemur-crossword
madagascar-info-sheet
nadias-word-scramble