Conservation is a key component of Cosley Zoo’s mission.
We demonstrate our commitment to conservation on a daily basis by participating in environmentally friendly practices such as recycling, composting food scraps, re-purposing materials rather than buying new ones, and installing energy-efficient lighting. We also participate in several large-scale conservation initiatives.
Coins for Conservation
Your support can change the world. Stop by and visit the Coins for Conservation Display at Cosley Zoo and donate your spare change to help support conservation efforts for these endangered species, or make a donation here.
The World’s Most Endangered Marine Mammal
The Vaquita porpoise, which inhabits the Gulf of California off the coast of Mexico, is in imminent danger of extinction due to illegal gillnet fishing. These gillnets, meant to catch the totoaba, which is sold on the black market in China and Hong Kong for its supposed medicinal properties, also ensnare and kill vaquitas. There are currently fewer than 30 individuals remaining in the wild. Your contributions will fund Vaquita CPR, which is working with the Mexican government to remove gillnets and raise awareness.
To learn more or donate, visit vaquitacpr.org.
ASIAN WILD HORSE
The Only True Wild Horse on the Planet
Conservation efforts have increased this horse’s population from only 14 individuals to more than 500. Far from being safe, much work still needs to be done to ensure their survival. Your donations will help secure the future of Asian Wild Horses in their natural habitat by supporting the development of artificial water holes. These water holes will encourage expansion of the horses in the Hustai National Park in Mongolia.
Illinois Endangered Reptile
Due to illegal capture, loss of habitat, predation, and vehicle and fishing accidents, this once-numerous local resident is now struggling to survive. Your donations will help Cosley Zoo and its local partners, like The Forest Preserve of DuPage County, in efforts to rear young turtles for release and improve the quality of their natural wetland habitat. Donations will fund continued research and purchase food and equipment vital to the long-term success of this project.
To donate, visit: cosleyzoo.org/donate
Thank you to our sponsor for supporting Cosley Zoo’s conservation efforts.
Blanding’s Turtle Head Start Program
Cosley Zoo is proud to partner with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, as well as the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Brookfield Zoo, and St. Charles Park District, in this program which works to help increase the wild population of Blanding’s Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) in Illinois.
Blanding’s Turtles are medium-sized semi-aquatic turtles whose distribution is concentrated around the Great Lakes. Their population has been declining in recent years due to the loss of available wetland habitat. In addition, increased pressure from predators has caused a decrease in the number of turtles surviving to sexual maturity (15-20 years of age). In 2009, Blanding’s Turtles were added to the endangered species list in Illinois.
The Head Start program aims to increase the number of Blanding’s Turtles surviving long enough to reproduce. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County collects gravid (pregnant) turtles from the wild and houses them until they lay their eggs. After the eggs hatch and the young turtles are off to a good start, some of them are raised by Cosley Zoo staff until they are two years of age. The turtles are reared at an accelerated rate, so that when they are released back into a DuPage County wetland, the two-year-olds are each roughly the size of a naturally-reared five-year-old turtle, and should be less vulnerable to predators. The young Blanding’s Turtles are not on display at the zoo in order to minimize their exposure to humans, but we do have an exhibit containing adult Blanding’s Turtles which can be viewed by the public, as well as a live video feed of the turtle rearing area.
Links to more information on Blanding’s Turtles:
- Cosley Zoo relies heavily on donations for the Head Start Program. You can help by becoming a “Blanding’s Buddy” and donating money towards the care of the Blanding’s Turtles. Click here for more information about the Blanding’s Buddy program.
Read articles from TribLocal on the Blanding’s Turtle Head Start Program:
Cosley Zoo committed to effort to save endangered turtles – 11/16/11 TribLocal Wheaton
- Zoo turtles to get new home – 03/23/12 TribLocal Wheaton
- Click here for a fun activity sheet with more information on Blanding’s Turtles.
Party for the Planet
Cosley Zoo hosts this annual event each April along with more than 100 other zoos and aquariums throughout the country. This is the largest combined Earth Day event in North America! Party for the Planet features conservation-focused activities for families and promotes ideas for establishing “green” practices in our visitors’ own backyards. Check our Events page in the spring for more information about Party for the Planet.
Do you have an interest in Frogs and Toads? Become a FrogWatch USA Volunteer!
You do not have to be a frog or toad expert to be a FrogWatch USA™ volunteer! All you need is:
- An interest in frogs and toads
- A willingness to participate in a volunteer training session at Cosley Zoo, your local FrogWatch USA Chapter
- A commitment to monitor a wetland site for 3 minutes multiple evenings throughout the breeding season (February-August).
Training Dates for FrogWatch at Cosley Zoo
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
FrogWatch Cosley Zoo is a local chapter of FrogWatch USA, AZA’s flagship citizen science program that invites individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads.
FrogWatch USA volunteers play an important role in amphibian conservation. Over 2,000 amphibian species are currently threatened with extinction and many more are experiencing sharp population declines. This alarming trend may be a sign of deteriorating wetland health because amphibians can serve as indicator species.
To learn more about amphibian conservation and FrogWatch USA™ click here.
Great Backyard Bird Count
Each February, we train our Junior Zookeepers in backyard bird identification and encourage them to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (gbbc.birdcount.org). Participation is quick and simple, requiring individuals to monitor bird populations anywhere in the world, including their own backyards, for a minimum of 15 minutes, and then submit the results online. This data provides scientists with valuable information about wild bird populations.
Cosley Zoo offers a training session for individuals and families who would like to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. The 2018 training session is January 27 from 1-2 PM. The fee for the training session is $7 per person or $20 per household or group. For more information or to register, please contact Natasha at email@example.com.
Cosley Zoo Conservation Fund Donation
Help fund important local, national and global conservation efforts supported by Cosley Zoo.