Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series Presents “Saving the Savannah”

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, from 6:30pm – 9:30pm, Oakland Zoo welcomes the public to attend a Conservation Speaker Series focused on conservation efforts in the savannahs of Africa, specifically the Uganda Carnivore Program and the Reticulated Giraffe Project in Kenya. These innovative conservation projects are very important to Oakland Zoo and are an outward display of the Zoo’s efforts to support conservation in the wild.

“People all over the world revere the beautiful savannahs of Africa and the animals that they imagine roam in great numbers through the grasses,” said Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Director, Amy Gotliffe. “It is hard to believe that if things do not change quickly, we could lose these animals and this iconic habitat entirely. In the past decade, illegal poaching and the growing human populations have challenged many species of wildlife in this unique biome. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of these animals and is proud to support the work of the Reticulated Giraffe Project and the Uganda Carnivore Program that conserves reticulate giraffes, lions, leopards and hyenas. These projects illuminate the fact that when communities and wildlife professionals work together, people and animals have a chance to survive. I look forward to being informed and inspired!”

Oakland Zoo is proud to introduce docent Monica Tyler and Zookeeper Elizabeth Abrams as they share their own stories and experiences of working in the field, directly with these two conservation partners.

The Conservation Speaker Series will take place in Oakland Zoo’s Zimmer Auditorium, located in the lower entrance of the Zoo. Parking is free and the admission price for the evening’s speaker presentations is $12.00 – $20.00 per person (sliding scale). All proceeds from this event will be donated to these two Oakland Zoo Conservation Field Partners and their work with African wildlife.

For additional information about Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series, please contact Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director, at amy(at)oaklandzoo(dot)org.

ABOUT UGANDA CARNIVORE PROGRAM: The Uganda Carnivore Program is dedicated to the research and conservation of lions, leopards and hyenas in the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is located in southwest Uganda. In addition to scientific research and monitoring activities, an important component of the conservation activities involves working closely with the local communities to improve human-wildlife coexistence. Oakland Zoo’s Docent Volunteers raised funds to establish a Community Education Center in one of the villages bordering the Park. Leopard Village is a community-run socio-economic development initiative that supports cultural and wildlife conservation through ecotourism. The Center includes replicas of traditional huts, a library for village children, and a meeting space for community members to come together to discuss resolutions to human-wildlife conflict. Oakland Zoo staff members also lead Eco-trips to Uganda, which includes visiting The Uganda Carnivore Program.

ABOUT THE RETICULATED GIRAFFE PROJECT: The reticulated or Somali giraffe is one of nine currently recognized subspecies. Reticulated giraffes live only in the arid rangelands of north-east Africa but little is known about their biology, ecology or behavior. The Reticulated Giraffe Project, a partnership between Queen’s University Belfast and the Kenya Wildlife Service, aims to address this lack of information by investigating aspects of the animals’ behavioral ecology and of the population processes operating upon them. All over Africa, giraffes are in serious decline. Some 30% may have been lost in the past 10 years alone. The principal reasons are believed to be poaching, especially for meat, and loss of habitat. Reticulated giraffes, Giraffa camelopardalis reticulate, seem to have fared badly, with a drop in numbers of more than 80% from perhaps 30,000 a decade ago to fewer than 5,000 today. Oakland Zoo has fully embraced the efforts of the reticulated Giraffe Project. The Zoo supports the project through fundraising, outreach and education about the project, and staff expertise – where zookeepers passionate this program travel to Africa to offer their professional skills on-site. Oakland Zoo staff members also lead Eco-trips to Kenya, which include onsite visits to this project.

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO: The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks.


Nicky Mora


Amy Gotliffe

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