Paignton Zoo's amphibian conservation centre
The Amphibian Centre (AARK) provides Paignton Zoo with class-leading facilities from which amphibian conservation, through field work and ex-situ research, can be carried out. The centre, at 214m2, has the capacity to train amphibian biologists by the use of spacious bio-secure rooms and more formal training in the attached lecture theatre. The centre is actively developing strong links with several UK universities for non-invasive, conservation research.
East African (Eastern Arc Mountains) and Malagasy species are a speciality due to the high level of endemism and in many cases the exiguity of populations. The ability to work with captive Malagasy species will become increasingly important and has been recognised by the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (Gascon et al 2005) and by the Sahonagasy Action Plan (Andreone and Randriamahazo, 2008). We currently hold the largest collection in the UK of Malagasy amphibians and have bred five species to date.
The centre is a bio-secure unit which is on-show to the public and contains a complimentary education section. Public education begins with engagement of native species and conservation at home, demonstrates the basic forms of amphibian life and then touches on the primary threats to amphibians before finishing with positive conservation efforts.
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park
COMMENDATION received in BIAZA Awards 2012 for Best New Zoo Enclosure