This ongoing research project is a collaborative effort among zoos to study walrus reproduction to improve breeding management. Objectives of the study include monitoring male and female hormones, monitoring sperm production, monitoring female reproductive organ anatomy through ultrasound, and preservation of semen samples.
Sumatran tiger reproduction
Since 2017, researchers have been developing methods of preserving sperm from tigers and performing artificial insemination to ensure the sustainability of tiger populations in the face of recent low breeding success. In this study, researchers working with the Amur, Malayan, and Sumatran Tiger SSPs will conduct artificial insemination in at least 10 young female tigers at zoos around the country and preserve sperm from genetically important males for future breeding opportunities.
Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium
PDZA works with the National Zoo and Nashville Zoo to collaborate with the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Thailand to facilitate the management, study, and breeding of clouded leopards. To date, 78 cubs have been born in the program. A new permit recently granted by the USFWS will allow the importation of up to 16 animals from Thailand over the next 5 years. Efforts of the Consortium have introduced new genetic lines, allowing the SSP population to significantly grow and experience successful reproduction in North America.
Elephant conservation in Sumatra
This grant supports Conservation Response Units in Sumatra that address conflicts between people and wild elephants. Formerly neglected elephants are trained to carry forest rangers into elephant territory to fight crime, rescue wildlife, reduce elephant-human conflict by herding wild elephants away from settlements and provide education and outreach programs to villages in and around the parks. In 2018 the Response Units of Way Kambas National Park conducted approximately 98 multi-day patrols, with 44 drives of elephant herds away from human settlements and back into the safety of the park.
The Dr. Holly Reed Wildlife Conservation Fund
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA) awarded grants totaling $190,354 to 15 projects in 2019. These grants are allocated from the Dr. Holly Reed Wildlife Conservation Fund, which is administered by The Zoo Society. The Fund has awarded more than $2.2 million since 2002.
The Zoo Society works with PDZA to conserve wildlife and wild places at home and abroad. Donations from zoo guests, community members, and other sources provide money for the fund, which is named in honor of longtime PDZA head veterinarian Dr. Holly Reed, who died in 2012.