April 11, 2017, Colorado Springs, CO – Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is proud to announce the results of this year’s annual Zoo member conservation vote. The Zoo’s members were given the option of how to help allocate $75,000 for global conservation projects.

Every year, Zoo members are asked to vote for three conservation projects they find most deserving. The funds come from the Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation (Q4C) program, which is funded by visitors and members. The $75,000 membership allocation is a small fraction of the Q4C program – $2.50 from each individual plus membership and $5 from each family or higher membership goes to this fund to directly benefit global conservation efforts. In addition to this member-supported portion of Q4C, 75¢ of every admission ticket also funds the Q4C projects represented at our admission kiosks.

The top three voting options chosen by members will receive full funding for their projects:

  • An African lion project will train local guides on responsible ecotourism, ecology and conservation monitoring.
  • “Defer to Zoo’s choice” – Members deferred to the Zoo for a project of their choosing, and they chose to help support efforts to save the vaquita porpoise from extinction. Scientists estimate that there are just 30 individual vaquita porpoises remaining in the world, which is half of what it was last year.
  • An African vulture project will support vulture species that are now critically endangered, due in part to collisions with power lines in the wild. The funds will help determine which power line locations cause the bulk of collisions in South Africa, and will help to train the vultures that were raised or rehabilitated to avoid those lines before release back into the wild.

The remaining funds were allocated toward four projects that the Zoo believes have the greatest need.

  • Last year Cheyenne Mountain Zoo helped radio-collar 10 wild mountain tapirs in Ecuador. This funding will continue the important work needed to learn about habitat use and reproduction of this elusive and endangered animal. Mountain tapirs are the most endangered tapir species in the world, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of only two zoos in the country where guests can see the species.
  • In 2009, the Zoo partnered to create Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation to protect breeding populations of 12 of Panama’s most endangered frogs, and this funding will help build new facilities to both house them and build on-site feeder insect colonies. The frogs are being protected in pods from a fungus called “chytrid,” which is wiping out many amphibian species in the wild.
  • The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) helps to bolster wild African penguin chick populations and will continue to do so with the help of this Zoo donation.
  • Lastly, siamangs, the largest gibbons, suffer from abuse tied to the illegal pet trade. This funding will allow the Kalaweit organization to build three aviaries for the rehabilitation of rescued siamang families before they are released back into the wild in their native Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

“We want to sincerely thank our members for their votes,” said Zoo President & CEO Bob Chastain. “Their input and passion allows us to remain a leader in animal care, captive breeding and conservation, both locally and globally. We couldn’t do it without them.”

To learn more about these projects, please visit: http://www.cmzoo.org/index.php/together-protecting-the-future/

To learn more about the Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation initiative, visit www.cmzoo.org/q4c.

About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s ONLY mountain zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s hope that guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Of the 230 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just nine operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues and donations for funding.