New Orleans,
18
January
2017

Construction on Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife Partnership Between Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global on New Orleans West Bank Reaches Halfway Point

Conservation partnership establishes a one-of-a-kind resource to rebuild animal populations in danger of disappearing.

Summary

Construction is halfway complete on the first phase of an innovative partnership between animal conservation leaders, Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global. The Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife is a modern-day ark to preserve species that are vulnerable in the wild and sustain populations in human care.

Construction is halfway complete on the first phase of an innovative partnership between animal conservation leaders, Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global. The Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife is a modern-day ark to preserve species that are vulnerable in the wild and sustain populations in human care.

This effort is headed by a skilled team of science and husbandry experts with vast experience developing advanced breeding techniques and providing state-of-the-art animal care.

Michelle Hatwood, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center Curator
"By joining forces on this project, we put to work our shared expertise in assisted reproduction techniques and behavioral sciences. We are focused on protecting threatened animals that many people are not necessarily familiar with – species like okapi, bongo and curassow.”
Michelle Hatwood, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center Curator

"In a time when many species are critically endangered, this unique collaborative effort between our two accredited zoological organizations gives us hope for the future," said Bob Wiese, Ph.D., Director of Life Sciences, San Diego Zoo Global. "We hope this effort will serve as a model for other organizations devoted as we are to the fight against extinction."

Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global began construction six months ago on the Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife on the grounds of the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center on New Orleans' West Bank. Phase One competition is planned for Spring 2017.

“The remote wooded area in lower Algiers is licensed from the Coast Guard,” said Hatwood. “The ample space will allow animals in large herds to roam in large paddocks, including a 43-acre site for giraffe. Clearing will be very minimal inside the paddocks so that the animals benefit from the natural, wooded habitat.”

The new animal habitats will be home to more than a dozen species of mammals and birds, including giraffe, whooping cranes and okapi. These are species that require living areas that can accommodate large populations and space to be viable, sustainable breeding groups. The project echoes the original purpose of the Species Survival Center, which opened in 1993 as an off-site breeding and research facility. While the campus is more than 1,100 acres, the Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife (ASW) will occupy approximately 425 acres of the space.

Ron Forman, Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO
“We have a chance to create a safety net for animals threatened in the wild to ensure these species maintain the numbers they need to keep from the brink of extinction. This partnership represents a new, innovative model for zoos and aquariums, and is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform our industry, ensuring that animals will continue to inspire future generations.”
Ron Forman, Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO

The project will be built in four phases with the first animals arriving in Spring 2017. Initial construction involves fence installation, road building and new barns for giraffe and okapi. The animals will have room to roam in large open areas designed to showcase the natural setting.

“Audubon’s mission every day is to celebrate the wonders of nature,” said Forman. “And with this new endeavor, we strengthen our enduring commitment to wildlife conservation.”

The Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife will not be open to the public, but educational tour opportunities may be possible in the future.

Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.

Contact
photo:Katie Smith
Katie Smith
Director of Public Relations
Office: (504) 378-2693
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