Happy holidays from the Oregon Zoo! We could think of no better way to celebrate the end of 2011 than sharing the attached report that summarizes the results of our western pond turtle head start and release project.
Since we started working with this imperiled species (Actinemys marmorata) in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our colleagues at the Woodland Park Zoo back in 1999, zoo staff members have raised and released a total of 582 captive-reared turtles into their ancestral habitats throughout southern Washington State. And we have another 49 youngsters growing for release during 2012. Over the past 20-years, the wild populations of turtles has grown ten-fold - from 150 to more than 1,500.
For more information on this conservation success story in the making, visit: http://www.oregonzoo.org/Conservation/westernpondturtle.htm.
A copy of the State of Washington Governor Gregoire's official recognition of the 20th anniversary of this wildlife recovery effort also accompanies this report. We'll put this on our wall right next to awards for our successes on behalf of Asian elephants, Humboldt penguins, California condors, pygmy rabbiits and for contributions to the art and science of animal enrichment.
We couldn't have had this success without the fiancial support of donors like you! Thank you again for helping the Oregon Zoo to create a better future for wildlife and we look forward to your continued involvement.
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Corporate & Foundation Relations Manager