At the zoo we have a variety of different animals from tiny poison dart frogs to the impressive Dagu and his family of Sumatran orangutans. We also provide training for people of all ages wanting to learn more about conservation and how to become a conservationist. Just like the zoo's founder Gerald Durrell.
Gerald was always interested in wildlife from a young age. His first proper job was as a zoo keeper and in 1959 he set up his own zoo in Jersey. This was to be the first zoo that focused on breeding threatened species for conservation, particularly the smaller, less showy species. The aim of which was, and still is, to return these animals to the wild where they belong.
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust have successfully reintroduced and translocated several species in many different countries such as Mauritius, India, Madagascar and right here in Jersey. All of which relied on captive breeding skills developed at Jersey Zoo.
Over the next two weeks we will talk more about these projects and introduce you to some of the animals. In particular our work in Jersey returning the red-billed chough (pronounced ‘chuff’) back to the island after a 100 year absence.
The chough is a medium sized bird with red legs and a long slender red bill. Choughs are also known as ‘fire crows’ because of this bright red colour. They are related to crows. A bit like cousins. They are members of the corvid family along with jackdaws and raven.
Unlike other family members the chough has a very different way of living, which you will also learn about during our takeover. At the end of each daily blog we will set you some homework. Don't panic it will only be a few questions and the clues will be in the blog or the video links.
Like the video below of The Lonely Dodo which can also be found at www.thelonelydodo.com. It is a perfect excuse to watch cartoons without your teachers being allowed to tell you off!
Introduction to the author:
Hi, I’m Liz Corry and I have worked at Jersey Zoo since 2006 as a bird keeper. I currently manage the chough reintroduction project as part of the Birds On The Edge program in partnership with the National Trust for Jersey and the States of Jersey Department of the Environment.
I studied at the University of Birmingham where I gained a BSc hons in Biological Sciences. I then went to Bangor in Wales to study for my MSc in Ecology before working at Durrell.