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What is Conservation?

Conservation is the securing of long-term populations of species in natural ecosystems and habitats wherever possible.

Acknowledging that not all species can be protected within their natural ecosystems due to threats such as disease, Conservation Ark recognises the need for both in-situ (in the wild) and ex-situ (captive) initiatives. 

The issues facing our world at this time are not going to be solved by any one group and it is only by working together that we change conserve the wonders of this world.  As such, partnerships and the ability to influence people through education and policy development are also recognised as critical to Conservation Ark's activities.

Black-flanked rock wallaby habitat analysis

In-situ Conservation

Secure species in natural ecosystems and habitats

The expertise of Conservation Ark staff in small population management means they are well placed to manage or co-manage landscapes with other partners for the protection of native species. Depending on the needs of the region, in-situ conservation activities may involve habitat restoration, feral control, biodiversity surveys and assessment, species reintroductions and disease surveillance/treatment. An in-situ focus that brings together a number of research projects, conservation activities and involves the local community can lead to improved effectiveness of those activities through efficiencies of scale. The areas chosen may be based on the presence of an iconic species that can lead to conservation gains for other species in the region or based on their contribution to the national reserve system.

Cross-fostering a black-flanked rock wallaby pouch young

Ex-situ Conservation

Maintain captive insurance populations of animals, which retain genetic and behavioural integrity for future reintroductions

Conservation Ark is involved in numerous breeding programs aimed at increasing the numbers of animals in insurance populations and producing animals for reintroduction. Extensive experience in the captive husbandry of a wide range of species, small population management, conservation psychology, captive breeding and assisted reproduction, such as cross-fostering, has placed Conservation Ark staff in the position of being able to uniquely contribute to conservation efforts through ex-situ support.

Exchanging information between western science and indigenous people

Education and Training

Create a world where people are aware of the irreplaceable value of our natural resources and act to minimise harm and maximise pro-conservation behaviours

Education and training is recognised as a vital component of all Conservation Ark’s activities. There is an urgent need to speak on behalf of those animals and environmental issues that can’t speak for themselves, increasing public awareness of the issues facing the environment, actions that can be taken to relieve pressures on the environment and to influence community attitudes.


Develop and share methods for conducting best practice conservation

The specialist knowledge of Conservation Ark staff on a range of wildlife issues means they are able to actively contribute to the formulation of legislation relevant to animal care, in-situ and ex-situ conservation and conservation education.

An example of policy comment can be seen below in regards to the proposed importation of the Savannah cat into Australia.

 2008 savannah cats risk assessment.pdf
 Savannah cat response for website.doc

Sponsors and partners of the brush-tailed rock wallaby recovery effort


Work together to increase the impact of conservation activities

Conservation Ark’s activities can only occur through partnerships with other like-minded organizations. These partnerships mean that together organisations are able to achieve more than they would be able to working on their own. Conservation Ark has worked with many partners on its projects and is able to use that knowledge of different organisations expertise to link up organisations that have complementary areas of interest. By bringing together the strengths of multiple organisations, a spirit of cooperation can be fostered allowing learning from the experiences of each other; something that is needed if we are to deal with many of the global issues facing us today.

Page Last Updated November 20, 2008, 9:23 am