Conservation & research
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is a conservation, research and education charity dedicated to the protection of animals, plants and their environments, locally and internationally.
Wildlife conservation is a concern across the globe. Species and their habitats face a number of threats such as pollution, competition from introduced species, the illegal wildlife trade, habitat destruction and climate change, many of which are related to over-exploitation of natural resources by people.
The Zoo's Field Conservation & Research department co-ordinates our involvement in wildlife conservation projects both in the UK and overseas, as well as managing scientific research projects on topics such as animal behaviour, nutrition, enrichment and ecology.
Keepers and research staff at the Zoo also play important roles in co-ordinated breeding programmes for endangered species conservation in line with the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) strategy. As part of this, Paignton Zoo collaborates with other zoos across the world, exchanging animals to prevent inbreeding and ensure that healthy genetic diversity is maintained.
Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust
Paignton Zoo is part of a group of charitable organisations that comprise the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT). WWCT is a registered education, scientific and conservation charity established in 1955 and based in South Devon, UK. The WWCT owns three zoological parks: Paignton Zoo Environmental Park and Living Coasts in Devon, Newquay Zoo in Cornwall and three nature reserves, all in Devon.
WWCT acts as a focal point, coordinating conservation and research activities around the globe. WWCT has its own website where you can learn about the WWCT, keep up to date with WWCT news and events and understand more about how the WWCT funds its activities.
The map below shows the areas in which we work. Hover over the markers for more information.
South West UK
WWCT has chosen our own region, the south west of England, as one of its Regional Conservation Programmes due its diverse range of habitats, providing strongholds for several declining UK species.
WWCT has chosen Vietnam as one of its Regional Conservation Programmes due to the desperate need to address the threats facing much of the country's wildlife and the existing commitment to the region by the staff of Newquay Zoo.
WWCT has selected Sulawesi as one of its Regional Conservation Programmes due to the area's extraordinary biodiversity and because the captive breeding programme for the Critically Endangered Sulawesi crested black macaque is managed by Paignton Zoo.
WWCT has selected western Zimbabwe as one of its Regional Conservation Prgrammes because Paignton Zoo and the WWCT have been supporting the Dambari Wildlife Trust ( DWT), based near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe since 1997.
WWCT has selected south-western Nigeria as one of its Regional Conservation Programmes because Paignton Zoo has a long history of support for conservation education in the Omo forest.
Highland East Africa
WWCT has selected Highland East Africa, and the Udzungwa Mountains in particular, as a Regional Conservation Programme due to the presence of a small community of inspiring international and Tanzanian researchers working on conservation issues in the area.
Coastal East Africa
WWCT has chosen Coastal East Africa as one of its Regional Conservation Programmes because of its highly threatened biodiversity and due to a history of support to partners in Kenya for survey work mostly focusing on the Critically Endangered small antelope Aders' duiker.