The Greenville Zoo will present its last conservation lecture of the year on Wednesday, November 13 at 7 p.m. at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (300 College Street). Guest speaker Dr. Dan Hilliard, Executive Director of the Zoo Conservation Outreach Group (ZCOG), will discuss the Chilean flamingo, which faces significant conservation challenges from mining and water diversion projects that threaten prime breeding and nesting habitat in Chile's northern Atacama Desert. Chilean flamingos are currently listed as “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Founded in 1988, ZCOG is a nonprofit coalition of zoos, aquariums and related partners dedicated to promoting wildlife and habitat conservation throughout Latin America. ZCOG accomplishes its core mission by developing conservation leadership capacity in Latin American zoological institutions and providing direct technical, material and financial support to collaborative, zoo and aquarium-based conservation programs. In an effort to protect the remaining Chilean flamingo populations, ZCOG has partnered with the Zoológico Nacional del Parque Metropolitano de Santiago and Corporación Nacional Florestal (CONAF) to conduct research on the health status and migration patterns of flamingo populations in northern Chile. Thanks to the support of program donors, ZCOG has helped fund transportation costs for multiple field capture and tagging campaigns and purchased solar GPS satellite transmitters that are being used to monitor the birds’ movement patterns.
The Greenville Zoo is a long-standing member of ZCOG and has been a regular supporter of ZCOG’s giant anteater and Chilean flamingo programs. Additionally, beginning this year, the zoo is sponsoring a scholarship for an environmental enrichment training course offered through the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ (AZA) Professional Development Program. A zoo professional from Colombia is the first scholarship recipient.
The Greenville Zoo’s Conservation Lecture Series is free and open to the public and the subject matter is appropriate for the entire family. While not required, attendees are asked to pre-register online if possible. The lecture will be held on the first floor and attendees should use the museum’s side entrance off Academy Street. Free parking is available at the Heritage Green parking deck.