Oregon Zoo Foundation

The mission of the Oregon Zoo Foundation is to foster community pride and involvement in the Oregon Zoo and to secure financial support for zoo conservation, education and animal welfare programs. These programs advance the zoo's mission to inspire the community to respect animals and to take action on behalf of the natural world by creating engaging experiences and advancing the highest level of animal welfare, environmental literacy and conservation science.
Aug 27, 2015

Thank you for supporing the Western Pond Turtles

As we head into western turtle release season there are 26 turtle hatchlings residing in the Oregon Zoo Conservation Lab. These little guys all hatched in the wild: eleven came directly to us after hatching in the fall of 2014 and the rest spent the winter in the wild and were brought in during the spring of 2015.

Thanks to your support through Global Giving this year we installed brand new, wide spectrum light fixtures in the lab. Meeting with WDFW biologists and staff from Woodland Park Zoo we have some big changes to our protocols for the upcoming season!! We look forward to utilizing cutting edge intelligence to offer our hatchlings the very best care available! This will mean new improved (and even more comfy) 'basking mats' in each tub as well as an outdoor area where our turtles will be able to bask in the sun's rays on a regular basis (as temperatures dictate). In addition we are working closely Woodland Park Zoo and our staff nutritionist to optimize their daily diets! Big Changes in an ever evolving program!  

Thank you for supporting the western pond turtles!

Apr 6, 2015

Thank you for supporting western pond turtles

Now listed as an endangered species in Washington and a sensitive species in Oregon, the western pond turtle was once common from Baja California to the Puget Sound. The biggest threat to fragile baby turtles has been the bullfrog. Native to areas east of the Rockies, this nonindigenous frog has thrived throughout the West, driving pond turtles and a host of other small, vulnerable aquatic species to the brink of extinction.

Once again,  a group of turtles at the Oregon Zoo are participating in “head starting” – a chance to grow too big to be eaten by non-native predators. Presently we have seven hold overs that were hatched in the wild in September 2013. These hatchlings spent the winter in their native ponds and came to us in the spring of 2014 as they emerged from their ponds. At that time some were as small as 3.5 grams! All seven now weigh over 150 grams with the largest at 190 grams. In September 2014 these juveniles were joined in the Conservation Lab by eleven recently hatched turtles. Together these hatchlings have spent the winter and spring in the conservation lab eating and basking in the artificial sun of our lights. They should be ready to be released back into the ponds where they were collected as soon as Columbia gorge climate is ready for them!

Two Oregon Zoo staff recently attended an Association of Zoos and Aquariums “SAFE” meeting on the Western Pond Turtle. This is a new initiative of AZA entitled “Saving Animals from Extinction” and is an effort to facilitate range-wide collaboration for endangered species. They are bringing together public agencies, scientists, veterinarians and zoo conservation staff to share information and improve effectiveness of conservation efforts. The group discussed initiatives geared toward raising awareness of the turtle and the threats to its survival range-wide, improving our knowledge of the species’ natural history and ways we can identify threats to its habitat

Thank you for supporting this impactful project!

Dec 20, 2014

Western Pond Turtle Conservation Update Dec. 2014

Once common from Baja California to Puget Sound, the small, long-lived western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) is listed as endangered in Washington and threatened in Oregon. The Oregon Zoo works to restore this shy reptile to its historic range through a unique head-starting program. With the help of Global Giving supporters, Western pond turtle numbers are on the rise!

With the help of GlobalGiving supporters, another group of Western Pond Turtles is getting their “head-start” at the Oregon Zoo this winter. Twelve turtles hatched in late summer 2014, along with seven hold overs from last year, are currently basking in the warmth and light of a simulated summer. In the wild, hatchlings become dormant in the cold. But the enhanced light and warmth at the zoo stimulates them to continue to eat and grow.

And they are all growing quickly. The seven hold overs who were hatched in 2013 now weigh more than 90 grams and the new hatchlings are 19-75 grams. They will likely be released in July or August of 2015. By this time, they will be large enough to have a fighting chance in the wild.

The turtles are raised in the conservation lab within the Pacific Northwest Exhibit of the Oregon Zoo, so visitors and zoo campers are able to observe their growth and learn more about this important conservation project.

On behalf of the turtles, zoo conservationists and our young learners, thank you!

donate now:

Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $20
    give
  • $60
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $338
    give
  • $900
    give
  • $1,352
    give
  • $16,228
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $20
    each month
    give
  • $60
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $338
    each month
    give
  • $900
    each month
    give
  • $1,352
    each month
    give
  • $16,228
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Oregon Zoo Foundation

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Oregon Zoo Foundation on GreatNonProfits.org.