Conservation is at the heart of everything we do at Wellington Zoo. Everyone at the Zoo is committed to the long term conservation of animals and wildlife we share the planet with, and conservation of the environment. We participate in regional and international breeding programmes and contribute to conservation projects both at the Zoo and in the field, which you can read about below.

To make it easy for our visitors to play their part for conservation we endorse three easily achievable conservation actions. These are:

  • Purchase sustainable wood and paper products marked with the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council)
  • Responsible pet ownership - bring your cats inside at night and keep your dogs on a lead.  
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle – think about your stuff, where it has come from and where it will end up.

We believe that all of our Zoo visitors (both at the Zoo and online) can implement at least one of these actions in their daily lives, making small steps to help with the big picture.

Free the Bears

Free the Bears supports animal welfare projects in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam; working with rescued and confiscated bears - including Sun Bears. As well as providing financial support to Free the Bears, Wellington Zoo staff have travelled to sanctuaries in Cambodia and Vietnam to assist with animal care, visitor experience, education, and graphic design. 

Cheetah Outreach

Cheetah Outreach is a conservation project based in South Africa that advocates for, and protects, Cheetah in the wild. Wellington Zoo’s male Cheetah, Charlie, was hand raised at Cheetah Outreach as an ambassador for his species. Wellington Zoo provides financial support to Cheetah Outreach through the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund. 

21st Century Tiger

21st Century Tiger supports conservation projects in Asia and Russia to help protect wild Tigers. 100% of the funds raised by 21st Century Tiger go directly to conservation projects in Asia and Russia. Wellington Zoo provides financial support to 21st Century Tiger through the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund. 

Proyecto Titi

Proyecto Titi is a conservation project in Colombia that helps protect endangered Cotton Top Tamarins in their tropical forest habitat, as well as educating and empowering local community advocates to promote conservation efforts. Wellington Zoo provides financial support to Proyecto Titi through the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund. 

Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado (The Golden Lion Tamarin Association)

Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado (AMLD) is a conservation project based in the Rio de Janeiro state of Brazil, working to save the Golden Lion Tamarin species and their natural Atlantic Forest habitat. Thirty years ago there were approximately only 200 Golden Lion Tamarins remaining in the wild; today their numbers have risen to around 1,700, largely thanks to the dedicated efforts of AMLD. Wellington Zoo provides financial support to AMLD through the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund. 

Places for Penguins

Wellington Zoo partner with Forest and Bird to support Places for Penguins, a local Wellington conservation project. Places for Penguins focuses on coastal restoration, pest control and nest-box building to help Little Blue Penguins (Kororā) along Wellington’s South Coast. 

Kea Conservation Trust

Through the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fellowship, supported by the Holdsworth Family Trust, we are proud to support Kea Conservation Trust with nest monitoring and tracking of radio and satellite tagged Kea in Nelson Lakes and Arthur’s Pass.

Victoria University

Another Wellington Zoo Conservation Fellowship recipient is the Victoria University Centre for Biodiversity and Restoration Ecology with a project evaluating the success of community restoration: biodiversity and environmental action.