Local Programs

TriState Bird Rescue & Research

The Zoo has had a long-standing cooperative relationship with Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research. They have always been available to offer medical and nutrition care and advice for both native and non-native birds in our collection. In turn, we have been able to give a few of their rescues a home at the Zoo, help with placement of birds at other zoo facilities, purchase difficult to attain feed and supplies and offer freezer space for their large loads of frozen fish.

Delaware Kestrel Partnership

The Brandywine Zoo is the leading organization in the Delaware Kestrel Partnership, a group of local nonprofit and governmental, conservation-focused, organizations working together to research and recover American kestrels in Delaware. Find out more.

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Urban Wildlife Monitoring

From camera traps to peregrine fledglings, our zoo research team studies and supports a variety of urban wildlife conservation projects. Find out more.

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Global Support

Below are projects we currently support or have supported in the past few years.

Andean Condor Conservation Program, Colombia

In 2003, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) began a Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Andean Condors. The goals of this SSP were to organize collaborative efforts of AZA zoos housing Andean condors in their captive breeding programs in order to help reinvigorate wild condor populations. Since 1989, 80 captive bred condors have been reintroduced in South America through the AZA’s release program. Additionally, through the SSP wild populations are monitored with wing tags and radio tracking devices. This helps researchers gather data identifying condor ranges, which will help conservationists identify appropriate habitats to protect. The SSP for Andean condors is coordinated by efforts of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

The Brandywine Zoo has supported research efforts of Andean condors in their home ranges by providing insight and information on our own pair of condors, as well as purchase radio tracking devices for wild condors. For more information visit the San Diego Zoo’s condor program page or the SSP fact sheet for Andean condors.

MADAGASCAR BIODIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership is an organization focusing on reforestation efforts in Madagascar, focusing on habitats crucial to Critically Endangered wildlife including lemurs and radiated tortoises. In particular, they focus on reforesting trees critical to the diet of black and white ruffed lemurs, who consume tree fruits and disperse seeds throughout the forest in an essential ecosystem service. Additionally, they reforest commercial trees which are sustainably grown to generate income and jobs for local communities.

Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership

CONSERVATION FUSION

Conservation Fusion is an international non-profit organization established in September 2010 to engage individuals and communities in education about the world’s unique biodiversity, promoting knowledge and understanding while instilling ownership and ultimately responsible, sustainable stewardship to the environment on a local and global scale.

Red Panda Trust

The Red Panda Trust (RPT) is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting Research to Conservation in the context of the threatened Red Panda. Established in 2014,  they have projects implemented throughout Nepal and their range countries. Inspired by the charismatic nature of the Red Panda and their dire threat, Founder Emma Dale set up the Red Panda Trust to connect Research and Researchers directly to the conservation of the Red Panda. They have set out to develop a model that can be applied to a range of species, which may permit exciting conservation initiatives. In the past, we have supported RPT’s efforts to develop permanent water sources in Nepal for local Red Panda populations.

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AZA SAFE Programs

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) program is a framework that focuses the collective expertise within accredited zoos and aquariums and leverages their massive audiences to save species.

Together AZA’s SAFE programs are saving the most vulnerable wildlife species from extinction and protecting them for future generations. The mission of SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction is to combine the power of zoo and aquarium visitors with the resources and collective expertise of AZA members and partners to save animals from extinction. Our work with the African Vultures SAFE program includes supporting education and outreach, capacity-building, and fundraising.

The Brandywine Zoo is a program partner to multiple AZA SAFE programs. Here’s what we’re doing for each program:

North American Songbird SAFE

North American Songbird SAFE focuses on some of the main threats to songbirds here in North America. Among them, the program goals address or engage the public on:

  • Reducing bird strikes by using bird-friendly window treatments, reducing evening lighting during peak migratory seasons
  • Keeping cats indoors to prevent predation of songbirds
  • Bird Friendly Coffee© which helps preserve neotropical bird wintering grounds
  • Selecting grass-fed beef to help save grassland birds
  • Purchasing certified sustainable paper products to help preserve the nesting grounds of boreal forest songbirds
  • Participating in native songbird citizen science projects and Urban Bird Treaty activities in cities
  • Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day annually

Here at Brandywine Zoo, we’re focusing on making Bird Friendly coffee accessible locally, educating our guests about ways they can reduce bird injuries with glass and cats, modeling bird-friendly backyards for our guests in our Backyard Academy area of the zoo, and encouraging community scientists to report their bird sightings through eBird and the free Merlin Bird ID app.

Find out how your coffee can be stronger than you think with Bird Friendly Coffee and the Brandywine Zoo.

African Vultures SAFE

Brandywine Zoo is a program partner of the African Vultures SAFE program. This program aims to address the African Vulture crisis through research, community engagement, vulture poaching and poisoning incident reduction, and vulture rehabilitation and reintroduction. This program primarily focuses on vultures in Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa with program partners in each country.

Brandywine Zoo staff sit on the steering committee for this SAFE program, and we supports African Vultures SAFE by creating and providing education and outreach  materials for the AZA community on the African Vulture Crisis, messaging around (and celebration of) International Vulture Awareness Day annually, and fundraising annually for the program through an annual Vulture SAFE Tshirt.

Find out more about African Vultures SAFE at RaptorTAG.com/safe

African Vultures SAFE logo

North American Monarch SAFE

As a program partner of the Monarch SAFE program, the Brandywine Zoo is helping to reach the action plan goals of the Monarch SAFE program by:

  • Planting pollinator-friendly gardens on grounds, including native monarch-friendly species like milkweed. Find pollinator-friendly plants for your own garden by using the National Wildlife Federation’s plant finder, which ranks native plants to your locality based on how many pollinators they support!
  • Encouraging community scientists to log monarch butterfly sightings through migration using Journey North, log monarch eggs and larva through Monarch Joint Venture, and tag and monitor migrating monarchs through Monarch Watch.
  • Discouraging the use of pesticides in gardens and on plants, which are harmful to butterflies and many other invertebrates.
  • Helping guests find free milkweed plants: Monarch Watch, Milkweed 4 Monarchs, Live Monarch, Grow Milkweed Plants.
  • Spreading the message to cut tropical (non-native) milkweed to the ground in the fall (mid-to-late October) to dissuade monarchs from overwintering on them and encourage migration.