Award Winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park hosts conservation world summit

Posted: 20th June, 2017

The world’s top conservation scientists will gather at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park to discuss threats to animal species and climate change.

The meeting will also focus on the benefits of guidelines published and launched by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with the support of the award-winning park’s Foundation.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation (YWPF) and IUCN Climate Change Specialist Group formed a crucial partnership in 2016 for promoting new guidelines for Species Vulnerability to Climate Change and have since made important steps in protecting critically endangered species from the changing environment.

Around 20 leading scientists, including environmental risk specialist Professor Resit Akçakaya, and other delegates will examine animal and habitat biodiversity and the threats from climate change.

YWPF is a major contributor to the ICUN’s hard-hitting report that warned of the ‘increasingly severe’ impact on wildlife from shifting weather patterns and established guidelines to pool scientific knowledge protect species and the environment

“We are delighted to welcome IUCN to the park and take part in their Q & A,” said Cheryl Williams, Trustee of YWPF, which is based at the 300-acre park at Branton, near Doncaster.

“Our partnership with IUCN shows that we fully support the vital initiative they are working towards and we know the outcome from their incredible conservation efforts will have a significant contribution to saving species from the effects of climate change.”

Dr Wendy Foden, Chair of IUCN SCC Climate Change Specialist Group, will be discussing the positive effects of the guidelines and outlining how the plan will minimise any future threat to species and biodiversity.

The park is home to the country’s only Polar Bears, the species is listed as Vulnerable on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because extensive declines in Arctic sea ice have reduced their habitat. 

 YWPF has been promoting action to combat climate change, and is partnering in the development of an international centre for the conservation and rehabilitation of polar bears both in captivity and in the wild.

The park’s Polars, Victor, Pixel, Nissan and Nobby, share one of the world’s largest reserves, complete with pools, caves and rolling terrain that replicates the bears’natural habitat.

Climate change is influenced by solar cycles, volcanic eruptions and the human influences on pollution and land cover, the report states. Measuring impact and assessing data has been fragmented so the Guidelines help campaigners project a unified case for action to governments and global authorities.

YWPF and Specialist Group staff will continue to work together to increase awareness about climate change, its impacts on wildlife, and the best ways to respond.

The park and its Foundation put conservation at the heart of its work and are part of international projects to conserve polar bears, Amur tigers, leopards and African painted dogs.

The park is home to a range of endangered animals including Black Rhinos, Blue-Eyed Black Lemurs and Rothschild Giraffes.  


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