THE CITY OF EL PASO, TEXAS Home Government Residents Business Visitors Departments Online Services Meetings Search THE CITY OF EL PASO, TEXAS -
« back
Support The Zoo's Conservation Fund

The Zoo is helping to protect the last free ranging herd of Sumatran elephants at Tesso Nilo National Park.

The conservation of our planet's precious wildlife and wild areas is a very important part of the mission of the El Paso Zoo. We are actively involved with a number of researchers and conservation related organizations, all dedicated to various conservation projects around the world.

The El Paso Zoo's Conservation Fund was established by the El Paso Zoological Society's Board of Directors in 2001, and has helped provide support to myriad local, regional and international conservation and conservation education projects.

The Conservation Fund supports conservation programs worldwide, that protect threatened wildlife and their wild habitat 'homes'. Please consider supporting (or increasing your support) of the El Paso Zoological Society's Conservation Fund. It is only with the help of caring people such as yourself, that we can continue to play an important role in wildlife conservation efforts. The Zoo encourages you to "Take Action' and make a difference!

The El Paso Zoological Society very gratefully welcomes all gifts to its Conservation Fund; no contribution is too small, and all are tax deductible!

Here are some of the initiatives and projects that the
Conservation Fund has provided support for:
Conservation on Zoo Grounds
The El Paso Zoo's participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums [AZA], Species Survival Plan (SSP). Did you know that the Zoo is involved with approximately 20 SSP animal species such as the Sumatran orangutan, the thick-billed Parrot, the Malayan tapir, and the Aruba Island Rattlesnake, just to name a few? Did you know that many of these species are endangered in the wild and that habitat loss or degradation is often a key factor?

The Zoo conducts a number of fun-filled conservation educational events throughout the year that help to inform and enlist our visitors in efforts to help save wildlife and wild places. At these events these visitors actively become 'Conservation Action Partners'. Special events include the Habitat for Wildlife Weekend, the Elephant Festival, Earth Day and El Paso Zoo Camp [throughout the summer, different children attend a week long conservation summer camp for children]. The Zoo also supports the activities of a local chapter of The Jane Goodall Institute's 'Roots & Shoots program that engages and inspires youth through community service and service learning.

Conservation in our local community
The Zoo is heavily involved with a number of local conservation projects and partnerships. Some staff members are involved in the work to inventory our arroyos and preserve open space. The Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition was created in part by the efforts of a zoo staff member, to that supports public educators' efforts to enhance and enrich science education and increase science literacy in the Chihuahaun Desert region. Other Zoo staff members have helped to conduct baseline research in the seasonal migration of raptors along the Franklin Mountains and in the census of Keystone Heritage Park wildlife.

Conservation in our regional Chihuahuan Desert Community
Animals native to our Chihuahuan Desert region have an important place in our animal collection and in our conservation efforts. We need to work 'locally' in this very biologically diverse and sensitive-to-destruction' region, that we live in. Did you know that thick-billed parrot researchers in Mexico have steadily received Conservation Fund support to aid in their research on wild birds that includes nest and nestling research, as well as aerial reconnaissance of seasonally migrating birds? Zoo staff has also brought donated research equipment across the border into Mexico, to help field researchers in their studies.

The Zoo has also had an active role with an endangered species not maintained at the zoo, that being the black-footed ferret. Not only has the Zoo acted as an overnight 'waystation' to those animals produced in captivity by SSP participants that are on their way to being released into the grasslands of Janos, Mexico, but staff have also aided in a number of these releases. Additionally, other Zoo staff have participated in medical evaluations of a wild Arizona ferret group; animals were spotlight surveyed, captured, had physical exams & medical other work done including the taking of blood samples, and ultimately fitted with transponders & ID tags and released back into the wild.

Conservation in the international community outside of our area
The Zoo has been a partner in the Brazilian Ocelot Consortium, a partnership that includes nine other U.S. zoos, the Ocelot SSP, and a Brazilian non-governmental conservation organization, the Association Mata Ciliar. One goal of the consortium is to establish a new founder ocelot population in AZA facilities. This project also provides animal management training to Brazilian colleagues, is educating local Brazilians about 'their ocelots', and aiding in the restoration and of degraded ocelot habitat [since the start of reforestation efforts in 2003, nearly 50,000 native trees have been planted in this habitat restoration area].

For a number of years the Zoo has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund in educating people about the endangered Asian elephants of Sumatra. Conservation Fund monies have been used to help protect, manage and monitor wildlife habitat at the Tesso Nilo National Park in Sumatra, and to support the operation of a flying squad team consisting of elephants, elephant chasers and elephant drivers, to assist farmers in protecting their lands from elephant raids. The flying squad not only reduce wild elephant's raiding of community farming land by driving crop raiding elephants back to their wild habitat, but also educate communities on how to help reduce the number and impact of wild elephant raids.

To learn more about our conservation efforts visit our website at

You can make a positive difference in helping to make our world just a little bit better, by doing some of the following:
1. Support the El Paso Zoo by becoming an El Paso Zoological Society member and by contributing to its Conservation Fund.
2. Purchase some very original artwork from the El Paso Zoo's elephants and orangutans. Call 521-1850 and ask to speak to the head keeper for either the elephants or the orangutans.
3. Bring or send your old cell phones/pda's to the zoo [proceeds go to the Zoo's partnership to help support Asian animal conservation projects].
4. Wildscape your outdoor home and business spaces by planting native species of grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees to provide the best types of food and shelter for our native animals [these types of plantings will typically also need less water]. To find out more about this topic, visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department's website section 'Texas Wildscapes':
5. Support a local native flora/fauna restoration project.

Wild Animals Don't Make Good Pets: acquire pets that are suitable for your lifestyle, knowledge, experience and available resources. Avoid acquiring exotic animals as pets if at all possible, but if you do, acquire them from reputable, well managed sources of captive bred animals. To find out more about this topic, visit the Association of Zoos and Aquariums website and click on the 'Aquarium Keepers' section:

If you are a fish fancier, only acquire species of fish that are bred in captivity or are acquired from the wild by vendors using the best practices that don't harm wild fish populations or their environment. Also, don't acquire species that will eventually grow so large as to not be able to live in your current or future aquarium. To find out more about this topic regarding marine fish, visit the Marine Aquarium Council's website and click on the 'Aquarium Keepers' section:

Become an active member of El Paso's conservation community by joining at least one of our local organizations that work to preserve and our wildlife and wild places.

Don't waste water. Fix leaky taps. Mulch your garden in summer to reduce watering.

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle rubbish and household goods.

Purchase long-life cloth/mesh bags for shopping.

Compost your organic food scraps for a rich garden fertilizer.

Donate old, no longer needed items to charities.

Make the best possible seafood choices for you, your family, and the environment. Certain types of fish are 'better' than others, in regards to how they are raised, or how & where they are harvested. To find out more about this topic regarding marine fish, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program website:

Please use the following attachment, to aid us in our local & global efforts to help preserve and protect important natural areas and the plants & wildlife that live there.

Make a tax deductible donation today
Supporters of the Zoo's conservation efforts are welcome to donate funds specifically designated to the Zoo's Conservation Fund.
Phone: _______________________________________________
Conservation Donation Amount: $___________________________

Please mail your Conservation Fund contribution to: The El Paso Zoological Society, P.O Box 10179, El Paso, TX 79995-0180

To learn about Conservation Fund Volunteer Opportunities contact the Zoo's Education Curator or Animal Curator at 915-521-1850.


Tour The Zoo

View Larger Map

El Paso Zoo's Mission
Our mission is to celebrate the value of animals and natural resources and to create opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature.