In Situ Projects
Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens are proud to support a number of projects and over the last three years we have raised over £6,000 to help support them, you can read more about these projects below:
Red Squirrel Project
The Red Squirrel is native to Britain, but its future is increasingly uncertain as the introduced American Grey Squirrel expands its range across the mainland.
There are estimated to be only 140,000 Red Squirrels left in Britain, with over 2.5 million greys. The main threats to the survival of the reds are; the increasing number of grey squirrels, disease (squirrel poxvirus) and road traffic. Greys can feed more efficiently in broadleaved woodlands and can survive at densities of up to 8 per hectare. The density of reds is up to 1 per hectare in broadleaved woodland but can be as low as 0.1 per hectare in coniferous woodland.
- To monitor and protect the Red Squirrel population here at Kirkley Hall
- To be part of the national monitoring programme to assess the current population of Reds and control the Grey Squirrel populations in our region
- Create a Red Squirrel Forest Trail to educate and engage our visitors to learn how they can get involved in helping to save the Red Squirrel
For more information on the actions and results so far click here.
For further information about the regional project we are involved with seewww.rsne.org.uk
Local information about the red population in and around Ponteland can be found through our local Red Squirrel group www.pontelandredsquirrels.co.uk
To report a sighting please visit:
To become a Friends of Red Squirrel North East please visit:
To make a donation to Red Squirrel North East please visit:
Cotton top Tamarin Conservation Club
Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens are an active member of the Cotton top Tamarin Conservation Club.
The club unites European Zoos working to help conserve the Critically Endangered Cotton top Tamarin. These tiny monkeys with a distinctive punk hairdo come from Columbia, where it is estimated that there are no more than 7394 left in the wild.
Thousands of Cotton top Tamarins were used for medical research in the 1970s and many more have been taken for the illegal pet trade. Despite being a protected species, their native forest habitat continues to be destroyed for logging and agriculture. Proyecto Titi (Spanish for “Project Tamarin”) has been working with local communities in Columbia since 1984 to save this charismatic little monkey. European zoos are working to help Proyecto Titi by raising awareness of the plight of Cotton top Tamarins and raising funds for local staff, research equipment, land purchase and educational activities.
Check out our upcoming events page for special cotton top tamarin events.
World Parrot Trust / World Pheasant Association
We are members of both the world pheasant association and the world parrot trust, our annual membership fee helps to support a number of projects carried out all over the world
For further information please see the links below:
BIAZA Annual Campaign
In 2014 we became full members of BIAZA, meaning we are now able to support their annual conservation project.
This year we gave £500 to establish a new conservation reserve out in Mexico paying for over 10 acres of prime forest.
To read more about how this project is helping some of the most endangered species in South America click here.
Lemur Conservation Association
We have recently started supporting the Lemur Conservation Association.
Working for Madagascar's highly endangered lemurs, through cooperation with the Malagasy people, the AEECL is a charitable organisation run by a consortium of European Zoos and Universities.
One of AEECL’s priorities is the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), one of Madagascar's rarest lemur species, and hence the species featured in their logo.
Over the past years, AEECL have been working to create a reserve to help protect the heart of the blue-eyed black lemur population. This dream has finally been realised and management structures put in place.
For further information go to The Lemur Conservation Association website.
Tails from Madagascar – no. 1
Join the Guardians of the Canopy on our quest to stop lemur hunting in Madagascar
Hello! I’m Claire Cardinal – you may recognise me from Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens where I had the wonderful job of Zoo Presenter, leading the daily Animal Encounters and Zoo School, up until 2015. My fascination with lemurs grew from doing the Madagascar Lemur talks. I loved going into the lemur enclosure and talking with visitors about the lives and behaviours of our wonderful ring-tailed lemurs and black and white ruffed lemurs.
As well as watching the lemurs’ acrobatic antics, visitors are always fascinated to find out how they live in the wild. Like our zoo lemurs, their wild cousins live in family groups and spend most of their time eating, sleeping and grooming. But unfortunately, in Madagascar life for wild lemurs is much harder and 94% of species face extinction from hunting and forest destruction.
Now Kirkley Hall Zoo is supporting my mission to stop lemur hunting in Madagascar.
I’ve brought together the Guardians of the Canopy - a team of scientists and lemur experts from Britain, Italy and Madagascar - for a three year project to investigate how and why people hunt lemurs and the impact on lemur populations and behaviour. In May, I’ll be setting off to Tsitongambarika humid forest in a remote part of southern Madagascar for the first part of our mission. I’m meeting up with a team of Malagasy guides and translators to spend 3 months in the forest studying lemur behaviours and talking with local people about the importance of lemurs and lemur hunting in their lives.
We’re focussing on the two most hunted lemur species in south-eastern Madagascar - the collared brown lemur and southern bamboo lemur. They’re close cousins of Lenny and Jerry, Kirkley Hall’s shy red-fronted brown lemurs.
So why do Malagasy people hunt lemurs? Well, research suggests that most lemur hunting is done by people living close to forests who catch them for food. Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world, so rural people still depend on what they can grow or collect in the forest to sustain themselves. Unfortunately, lemurs are among the biggest animals in the forest and that makes them a target for hunters. Our aim is to come up with ways to manage the forest that protect the lemurs, at the same time as meeting the needs of local people.
You can follow our mission by looking out for future Tails from Madagascar at [add link to KH webpage/newsletter]
You can Join the Guardians of the Canopy on our quest to stop lemur hunting in Madagascar by pledging your support at gofundme.com/wdfyj9-stop-lemur-hunting-in-madagascar