Charities exist to benefit the public, not specific individuals. In order to be recognised as charitable the aims of Crocodiles of the World were set out in a constitution and assessed against fixed criteria including the advancement of education and benefits to the community. It was a vote of confidence that our mission was determined to be a cause worthy of charitable status.
Our charity status helps us raise more funds beyond those raised from daily admission prices. In turn this will help us protect the future of Crocodiles of the World and contribute to vital programs round the world for the conservation of crocodiles, along with other endangered animals in our collectio
Conservation of the world’s crocodilian
What Does Crocodiles of the World do to help?
Crocodilians are our passion – Crocodiles of the World Foundation was established to help in any way we could to ensure the continuing survival of all croc species in the wild.
First of all, by having the UKs largest croc collection here at the zoo, we can show the public what it is we love about crocodiles, get rid of some of the silly myths and beliefs about crocs, and tell them the truth about these creatures. This informal education is critical, since we want people to realise and understand that much of what they are told about crocodilians is simply not true.
We also carry out formal education sessions with groups, including schools, universities, colleges, societies, U3A groups, coach tours etc. This is a more hands-on way for us to inspire some respect in crocodilians.
By housing and maintaining so many different species, working out the tricks of breeding some of them, we’re able to offer advice and assistance to projects in centres within the range of croc species as to how they can be more successful in maintaining or rehabilitating their crocodilian residents. Since many conservation projects rely on rearing crocs for potential release back into the wild, its important that we maintain contact with these projects.
Similarly, by observing our crocodiles and learning their behaviour, the effects various regimes have on them (temperature variations, water conditions, group size and make-up, visitor impact, noise etc) we can have input into field work where researchers are trying to work out how best to approach their work.
Since we know the major threats to each species, we can also partner with organisations in the field to either support their work or to assist with information, advice, training, fund-raising where the specific threats are being addressed.
Finally, we are committed to changing the way we operate the zoo site to make sure that it runs as energy-efficiently as possible, and reducing our environmental impact. Another thing we do here is to show people how they themselves can help in preserving the world’s biodiversity.
Sustainability is the key: producing energy, foods and products in a sustainable manner that ensures the wise use of natural resources so that they’ll be available to future generations
Some of our animals have Zoo programs (through EAZA) that we participate in along with other European zoos. These include:
- Chinese alligators
- Philippine crocodiles
- Siamese crocodiles
- Cuban crocodiles
- Dwarf crocodiles
- Slender-snouted crocodiles
- Cotton-top tamarins
- Komodo Dragon
We also look at how we can support the more endangered species we have including our giant Galapagos tortoises, and the partnership we have with the Galapagos Conservation Trust.
Local ecosystems are important, so we are also proud to be taking part in the BIAZA program called ‘Grab That Gap’ – where we are revamping an unused area of the site to plant native plant seeds and establish a native species area, with a pond for amphibians and flowers to bees, butterflies and other invertebrates that are so vital for the proper functioning of our planetary systems.
Key staff are active members of the IUCN Commissions, including the Crocodile Specialist Group, and have contributed to the Red List assessments for croc species and the official action plans for the conservation efforts for each crocodilian species.
Conservation is no longer a movement in itself, but more a description of how we should all be living – aiming at using the natural resources in a sustainable and ethical way.