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Conservation

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, using a rain barrel to collect water for plants, re-purposing materials rather than buying new ones, and installing energy-efficient lighting. We also participate in several large-scale conservation initiatives.

Support conservation through donation

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.

coins for conservation

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.

Cosley Zoo participates in several conservation initiatives on an ongoing basis, including a program to save the Blanding’s turtle.

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 seasonally, as well as a live video feed of the turtle rearing area.

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.

FrogWatch USA™

frogwatch

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).

Cosley Zoo’s 2019 Frogwatch training sessions are Sunday, March 31 from 3-5P OR Friday, April 26 from 6-8P.
Training is $7/person or $20/family or group. Please email frogwatchcosleyzoo@wheatonparks.org for more information or to register.

FrogWatch Cosley Zoo is a local chapter of FrogWatch USA, The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ 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, zoo staff train 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 also offers a training session for individuals and families who would like to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. The training date for the 2020 Great Backyard Bird Count will be announced in late 2019. For more information, please e-mail education@cosleyzoo.org.

COSLEY ZOO CONSERVATION FUND DONATION

Help fund important local, national and global conservation efforts supported by Cosley Zoo.

DONATE