In pictures: animals being saved from extinction by Edinburgh Zoo
EDINBURGH ZOO is looking after four out of the ten animals most reliant on British and Irish zoos to avoid extinction.
The list has been drawn up by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) to highlight their work to save wildlife.
Their top ten list includes the Potosi pupfish from Mexico and the Scimitar-horned oryx from Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal, which are all extinct in the wild.
Species under the care of Edinburgh Zoo includes Blue-crowned laughingthrush, Amur leopard, Blue-eyed black lemur and the Polynesian tree snail.
Just 45 Amur leopards remain in the wild, but there are 220 of the critically endangered cat in a global conservation breeding programmes in zoos around the world with a reintroduction scheme currently in the planning stages.
And around 95% of Britain’s white-clawed crayfish have vanished from the country as a result of the introduction of American signal crayfish and disease, prompting UK zoos to breed the species for release in safe areas in the wild and raise public awareness of their plight.
The top 10 list also includes ploughshare tortoises and the blue-eyed black lemur, both from Madagascar.
Zoos are also helping the blue-crowned laughingthrush, whose population numbers less than 250 mature birds in the wild in China, and even a tree, the Verdcourt’s polyalthia, which is found in just three places in the Kilombero valley, Tanzania.
The top 10 were chosen from hundreds of zoo-backed conservation programmes, focusing on species at high risk of extinction or extinct in the wild, schemes which involved initiatives in the field, zoos which had a management role, and projects which included habitat protection and working with local communities.
The full list is:
• Mountain chicken frog, from Dominica and Monserrat, critically endangered
• White-clawed crayfish, from countries including Britain, endangered
• Blue-crowned laughingthrush, from China, critically endangered
• Amur leopard, from China, Russia and Korea, critically endangered
• Potosi pupfish, from Mexico, extinct in the wild
• Polynesian tree snail; from French Polynesia, extinct in the wild
• Verdcourt’s polyalthia tree, from Tanzania, endangered
• Blue-eyed black lemur, from Madagascar, critically endangered
• Ploughshare tortoise, from Madagascar, critically endangered
• Scimitar-horned oryx, from Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal, extinct in the wild
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