Jersey Zoological Park
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (prev. Jersey Zoological Park)
The dodo is the symbol of the trust and the zoo. Statues of dodos stand at the gateways of the zoo.
Date opened 26 March 1959 Location Trinity, Jersey Land area 25 acres (10 ha) Number of species over 190 Annual visitors 150,000 Website http://www.durrell.org/Home/
Jersey Zoological Park or Jersey Zoo is a 25-acre (10 ha) zoological park established in 1959 on the island of Jersey in the English Channel by naturalist and author Gerald Durrell (1925–1995). It is now officially called Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust after its founder, or Durrell for short. It has approximately 150,000 visitors per year, despite a lack of emphasis on large animals and its relatively out-of-the-way location; visitor numbers tend to vary with the tourist trade to Jersey.
Since 1964, the zoo has been home to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (formerly the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust).
The zoo is situated in 31 acres (130,000 m2) of landscaped parkland and water-gardens. It has a strong commitment to looking after the Island’s native wildlife, and large areas within the grounds have been designated native habitat areas. The extensive planting of flowering and fruiting trees throughout the grounds also serves to attract a plethora of wild birds and insects. Included in the former are several species of bird which used to be commonly seen in Island gardens but have become increasingly scarce, including the house sparrow and song thrush.
There are over 50 nest-boxes positioned around the grounds, which are used by a variety of birds including barn owls, kestrels, swallows and martins. Other animals which are commonly seen within the grounds are the red squirrel, bank vole, and the short-toed tree creeper, which is not found in the UK.
Gerald Durrell began his career capturing animals for other zoos, but thought that the facilities needed to concentrate more on animal conservation rather than mere entertainment. He tells the story of starting the zoo in his book "Menagerie Manor" and others.
In January 2008 plans were unveiled by Durrell and were titled New Vision. They were brought up to help ensure another 50 years of the trust in Jersey. These ambitious plans had an emphasis on the notion of 'TopSpots'; places where the greatest diversity of animals are found such as islands and highlands. It was budgeted that the cost of the redevelopment would be in the region of £46 million pounds over the next five years. All funds needed to be raised through public and private donations. There were nine main aspects of development with animal welfare in its mind. Most of the plan was eventually cancelled due to costs.
- African Bai — The idea was to recreate an environment mirroring the ecology of the African Habitat, that the Western Lowland Gorillas would need to adapt to, if one day it would be safe for them to be left alone in the wild. The multi-million pound complex would include a gym and updated facilities for the gorillas. The family size could expand, or have an additional group to live alongside the current group. With the African Bai theme, it was planned to bring in new species from the region, considered animals included Red River Hog, African Clawless Otter, and guenon monkeys.
- Mascarenia — The idea was to integrate the mammals, birds and terrapins of Madagascar together in one walkthrough enclosure. It is also possible that species from Mauritius, Comores and Seychelles might be included. Surrounding the walkthrough area, which would include the bats, were enclosures which would house the lemurs, aye-ayes, narrow striped mongoose and giant jumping rat.
- A new visitor centre, which was designed to enhance the guests overall experience. A restaurant, and a hall of fame would become part of the experience.
- Eco-lodge cabins, which would allow people to stay at Durrell for a holiday, all environmental modern experience
- New Reptile and Amphibian Centre, which would allow Durrell to expand and enhance the care for species more prone to the changing environment
- Redevelopment of Les Augres manor, which would allow people to stay there for holidays, by turning part into a kind of hotel
- Improvements to training facilities
- Improvements to the centres
- Develop the Royal Pavilion into a full time conference suite
A new visitor centre has recently been opened to the public. It has a new restaurant. Access to the zoo is not required for access to the restaurant. A webcam service has been recently developed at Durrell Wildlife Park. Cameras have been installed in meerkats enclosure, as well as in those of the Telfair skinks, the Livingstone’s fruit bats and in the Kirindy Forest, the home of a rare and colourful bird collection. The webcam will enable viewers to see those species at times when they are often inaccessible, including watching the fruit bats during the evening when they are most active.
Jewels of the Forest
Opened in 2004, and houses various Asian birds such as:
- Palawan Peacock Pheasant
- Blue-crowned Laughingthrush
- Red-tailed Laughingthrush
- White-rumped Shama
- Nicobar Pigeon
- Emerald Dove
- Mindanao Bleeding-heart Dove
- Java Sparrow
- Pekin Robin
- Hooded Pitta
- Chestnut-backed Thrush
- Asian Fairy-bluebird
- Grey-faced Liocichla
First opened in 1999, the Cloud Forest is the first enclosure at Durrell to feature mixed animals, including carnivorous species.
- Andean Bear
- Ring-tailed Coati
- Black Howler Monkey
- Brazilian Tanager
- Orange-bellied Euphonia
- Red-cowled Cardinal
- Silver-throated Tanager
Princess Royal Pavilion
The Pavilion was opened by HRH Princess Anne Princess Royal, in 1970s, and serves as a conference centre, and classroom. The theatre shows films depicting the work of the trust, and also exhibits artwork. It highlights the work undertaken by the Trust around the world.
The Pavilion also houses a number of species which are used for educational aspect of conservation. They include Corn Snake, Rainbow boa, Milk Snake, New Guinea Blue tongued Skink, Giant African land snail, Giant millipede, Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, and Maclays Spectre a large stick insect.
The Gaherty Reptile and Amphibian Centre
The Reptile house is the home of many species of reptiles and amphibians which Durrell is intent on helping towards safely securing for the future. The Gaherty Reptile and Amphibian Centre was so named because of a gift from Canadian philanthropist Geoff Gaherty.
- Burmese Python
- Radiated Tortoise
- Marginated Tortoise
- Galapagos giant tortoise
- Jamaican Boa
- Flat-backed Spider Tortoise
- Indochinese Box Turtle
- Lesser Antillean Iguana
- Komodo Dragon
- Hispaniolan Slider
- Eyelash Viper
- Round Island Skink
- Spiny Turtle
- Utila iguana
- Panther chameleon
- Rio Fuerte Beaded Lizard
- Blue Spiny Lizard
- Lesser Night Gecko
- Martinique's Anole
- Jersey Common Lizard
- European Adder
- Majorcan midwife toad
- Strawberry Poison-dart Frog
- Blue Poison Dart Frog
- Golden Poison Dart Frog
- Mountain Chicken
- Marañón Poison Frog
- Mission Golden eyed Treefrog
- Montserrat Whistling Frog
- Malayan Tree Toad
- Golfodulcean Poison Frog
- Jersey Agile Frog
- Bony-headed Toad
- Alien Invaders
One issue which Durrell highlights is the effect of what happens when a non-native species is introduced to an environment and the damaging effect they can have. Case examples in the park include
The Discovery Desert was opened in April 2009, and was designed to give the family of meerkats more room to roam, and ensure they don't dig for freedom. Discovery desert is a mixed species exhibit featuring other animals which share the meerkat's habitat in the wild, and pose no threat to each other.
The Western Lowland Gorilla family has been represented at Durrell since it first opened in 1959, when they had only an infant female gorilla named N'Pongo, who was later joined by a younger infant female gorilla named Nandi, and continue today to be one of the icons of the park. The current enclosure includes a good sized outdoor play area, and three internal rooms, two large on-show ones and a smaller off-show one. The current family of five is led by a silverback called Badongo, who was born in Les Valles des singes. Badongo is the successor of Ya Kwanza. The remaining members of the family are female. From the Jambo era, are Kishka, and Kahilli, (Jambo x N'Pongo). There is also a young female named Bahasha. Kahilli has had two offspring from Ya Kwanza, a male named Mapema, and a female named Ya Pili. In 2007 the family suffered the loss of the youngest gorilla Ya Pili. The other three females did not bred with Ya Kwanza.
One of the plans for the future is a new larger Gorilla complex, allowing for a larger family, top rated facilities and a chance to start familiarising the species with others they would come across in the wild such as the red river hog.
Jambo was a gorilla who was born in 1961, in the Zoo Basel, Switzerland. Jambo shot to international news stardom overnight on 31 August 1986, when five year old Levan Merritt fell into the gorilla enclosure and lost consciousness. Jambo stood guard over the boy when he was unconscious, placing himself between the boy and other gorillas in what ethnologists analyze as a protective gesture. He later stroked the unconscious boy. When the boy regained consciousness and started to cry, Jambo and the other gorillas retreated, and an ambulance paramedic and two keepers rescued the boy. Most of the drama was shot on home video by Brian Le Lion, and extensively photographed by other zoo visitors. The publicity on major news channels and newspapers helped the reputations of gorillas.
Red River Hogs
Red River Hog were introduced to the zoo in August 2009, when two sows were transferred from Whipsnade. They have a brand new enclosure built by zoo volunteers, with a viewing platform in which to view them. The trust aim to highlight issue of the illegal trade of bushmeat in Africa, which also effects other species such as gorillas. A breeding programme was started in 2011 with the arrival of the boar hog.
Tamarins and Marmosets
The tamarins are kept in two areas of the park, some such as the golden lion and emperor tamarins are best kept within their own enclosures. Meanwhile others such as the Black lion tamarin and the silvery marmoset are allowed to run free in a small wooded area which helps them thrive.
- Silvery Marmoset
- Goeldi's Monkey
- Golden Lion Tamarin
- Golden-headed Lion Tamarin
- Emperor Tamarin
- Black Lion Tamarin
- Pied Tamarin
The Central Valley, expands across the centre of the park, creating a natural barrier and water resource for local species. A £1 million project to redevelop the central valley, completed in 2002, has created a haven for kingfishers, bank voles, butterflies, dragonflies, and several species of waterfowl. During the valley restoration two species of locally rare orchid were encouraged, and first flowered in 2005. They are Loose Flowered-orchid and Southern Marsh-orchid.
- Oriental Small-clawed Otter
- Red-breasted Goose
- Chilean Flamingo
- Grey Crowned Crane
- Greater Flamingo
- Swan Goose
- White-naped Crane
- Blue Crane
- Red-billed Chough
- The Red-billed Chough became extinct on Jersey in the nineteenth century, but they have once again returned. Durrell has joined a breeding programme and so a group are being kept at Durrell to form a captive colony, with hope to establish a free flying colony in the Trust's grounds.
Dotted around the Central Valley are a number of aviaries which house a selection of birds from different parts of the world. The aviaries are specialised to reflect habitat the birds should become adapted to should they be released back into the wild. They are large enough for them to fly short distances, or search the ground for food.
- Northern Bald Ibis
- Congo Peafowl
- Edward's Pheasant
- Vietnamese Pheasant
- Red-crested Turaco
- St. Lucia Amazon
- Bali Starling
- Pink Pigeon
- Echo Parakeet
- Black Bulbul
- Montserrat Oriole
- Wrinkled Hornbill
- White-crowned Robin-chat
- Indonesian Teal
- Tropical mockingbird
Orangutans and Gibbons
In an enclosure which was revamped in the 1990s the orang utans have a large outdoor play area for them to swing around. The enclosure consists of one large main house, with two extensive external islands surrounded by a moat. The orangutan family have been in Durrell since 1968, and come from Sumatra. Durrell used to have the Bornean orangutans, until it was decided that Durrell should focus on the rarest when the redevelopment took place. There are currently seven orangutans at Durell; The dominant male is called Dagu. The three adult females are, Gina and an unrelated female called Dana. The three offspring are Mawar's eldest son Jiwa and Gina's youngest son, Jaya. Sharing the island play areas is a pair of white handed gibbons, George who is black and Hazel who is light brown.
Since 1964 Durrell have been working with the macaque family, in the same location, just to the side of the valley. The family have bred well, though events in Sulawesi counterbalance the work in Durrell.
The Maned Wolves have been in Durrell since 2001, having replaced the prezewalski horses. Currently there is only one wolf. The wolf is shy and keeps to itself, and are more likely to be seen in the small hours of the day.
Durrell is the home to six species of lemur. Five species (excluding the red-fronted brown lemurs which are solely in Kirindy Forest) are dotted around the grounds and some form the vocal point of the Madagascan exhibit Kirindy Forest.
- Ring-tailed Lemur
- Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur
- Red Ruffed Lemur
- Alaotran Gentle Lemur
- Red-fronted Brown Lemur
A large polytunnel which has been built with used tyres was completed in Spring 2011. It is the new home of the two species of bat found in Durrell. The new polytunnel is located near the organic farm and apple orchard.
A major renovation project was to transform the Walled Gardens into an area marked Kirindy Forest. Based on the dry forests of Madagascar, the area is designed to showcase the work being done with the native species. There are new homes for the Aye-Aye's, Giant jumping rats and mongooses, and a new walkthrough aviary.
- Ring-tailed Lemur
- Red-fronted Brown Lemur
- Narrow-striped Mongoose
- Malagasy Giant-Jumping Rat
- Madagascar Teal
- Black-winged Stilt
- White-backed Duck
- White-faced Whistling Duck
- African Pygmy Goose
- Madagascar Turtle Dove
- Madagascar Crested Ibis
- Madagascar Fody
Proof that conservation does work, some species have returned home for continuation of programmes to reintroduce them to their own environment
In 1976 there were only four individuals in the wild with one female. Durrell took the risk of taking a recent clutch of eggs and had them hatched successfully - rebuilding the species, almost from scratch. The conservation for the species has moved on to the next stage and its focus has returned to Mauritius, re-establishing the species in the community and ecosystem.
With the newly established wild population of these species, originally extinct from the wild the zoo was part of the coalition of 'zoos' which together brought the species from the brink of extinction.
Work in Jersey
Helping the local species Durrell is also working closely with local wildlife groups to help with the declining populations of Jersey's Sand lizard, the Jersey Crapaud / Common Toad, and Jersey's Agile Frog
- Local rare and declining plant propagation
A long way from the usual animal conservation work at Durrell. Aim is maintain the genetic diversity of the locally rare plants. Currently four species are being grown in the propagation unit. Fragaria vesca or Wild Strawberry, Dianthus gallicus or Jersey Pink, Anogramma leptophylla or Jersey Fern and Linaria vulgaris or Common Toadflax. Other plant species will be propagated as seed or cutting material becomes available. As some of these plant species are so severely threatened, just finding specimens for propagation will be a real challenge.
- Bird Reintroductions
In 2010 Durrell have undertaken a project to reintroduce birds that once populated the islands clifftops, that have long disappeared from the island. The Red-billed Chough is the first focus of the programme, and they can now be found in the central valley area. There are also potential plans to do something similar with the Yellowhammer should the project prove successful.
- Although no longer located in Jersey, conservation is still monitored by Durrell in Assam India and other locations. The species is still in dire need of funding and help. During 2008 some pygmy hogs were released into the wild in Assam, early reports show good progress with the species
- Hitting headlines recently is some success in Grand Cayman with the Blue Iguana. Working alongside local authorities the iguana is being saved from extinction. It shows what can be done. In 2008 the project suffered a drawback when mindless thugs broke into the complex and masacred numerous iguanas including juveniles and expecting females.
- Previously thought extinct, (found when looking for something else), Durrell have recently teamed up with Madagascar to help research and study the species. With scouts unable to locate more individuals, it has become a possibility that experts will have to bring the survivors back to Jersey, using expertise from the Madagascar Teal and Meller's Duck to help the duck get back from the brink
- In 1995 was dubbed the world's rarest snake. More recently the species have been relocated back to Antigua on some islands where they are free from predators and pests.
- Mauritius Olive White-eye
- White-footed tamarin
- Ploughshare Tortoise
- Round Island day gecko
- Round Island skink
- Round Island boa
- Mangrove Finch
- Mauritius Fody
- Giant Hispaniolan Galliwasp
- Cuban Solenodon
- Floreana Mockingbird
- Hispaniolan Hutia
- Hispaniolan Solenodon
- Mountain coati
- Partula Snails
- Rhinoceros Iguana 1974-2010
- African Crested Porcupine
- White-headed Marmoset
- Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman
- Cottontop Tamarin 1972-2009
- Parma Wallaby 1959-2008
- Trinidad Stream Frog
- Green and Black Poison Dart Frog
- Standing's Day Gecko
- Plumed Basilisk
- Snow Leopard
- Snowy Owl
- White-eared Pheasant
- Bornean Orangutan
- Volcano Rabbit
- African Lion
- Tapirs (possibly Brazilian Tapirs)
- Humboldt Penguin
- African Elephant
Saint Helier (de la Ville · du Rouge Bouillon · de Bas du Mont au Prêtre · de Haut du Mont au Prêtre · du Mont à l'Abbé · du Mont Cochon)Trinity (de la Ville-à-l'Évêque · de Rozel · du Rondin · des Augrès · de la Croiserie)
Grouville (des Marais · de la Rue · de Longueville · de la Rocque · Les Minquiers)
Saint Brélade (de Noirmont · du Coin · des Quennevais · de la Moye)
Saint Clement (Grande Vingtaine · du Rocquier · de Samarès)
Saint John (du Nord · de Hérupe · du Douet)
Saint Lawrence (de la Vallée · du Coin Hâtain · du Coin Motier · du Coin Tourgis Nord · du Coin Tourgis Sud)
Saint Martin (de Rozel · de Faldouet · de la Quéruée · de l'Église · du Fief de la Reine · Les Écréhous)
Saint Mary (du Sud · du Nord)
Saint Ouen (Petite Cueillette · Grande Cueillette · Cueillette de Grantez · Cueillette de Millais · Cueillette de Vinchelez · Cueillette de Léoville)
Saint Peter (du Douet · de St. Nicolas · Grand Vingtaine · des Augerez · du Coin Varin)
Saint Saviour (de Maufant · de Sous la Hougue · des Pigneaux · de la Grande Longueville · de la Petite Longueville · de Sous l'Église)
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Duke of Normandy · Lieutenant Governor · Bailiff (List) · States Assembly · Council of Ministers · Chief Minister · Elections · (Parties: Jersey Democratic Alliance · Centre Party · Jersey Conservative Party) · Parish Assembly · Procureur du Bien Public · Courts · Jurats · Judiciary · Viscount · Greffier · States of Jersey Police · Honorary Police · Customs and Immigration · Royal Militia
Symbols Economy Culture
Other The life and times of Gerald Durrell Institutions associated with Co-conservationists Expeditions undertaken Species associations Books authoredThe Overloaded Ark · Three Singles to Adventure · The Bafut Beagles · The New Noah · The Drunken Forest · My Family and Other Animals · Encounters with Animals · A Zoo in My Luggage · The Whispering Land · Island Zoo · A Look at Zoos · Menagerie Manor · Two in the Bush · The Donkey Rustlers · Rosy is My Relative · Birds, Beasts, and Relatives · Fillets of Plaice · Catch Me a Colobus · Beasts in My Belfry · The Talking Parcel · The Stationary Ark · Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons · The Garden of the Gods · The Picnic and Suchlike Pandemonium · The Mockery Bird · Ark on the Move · The Amateur Naturalist · How to Shoot an Amateur Naturalist · Durrell in Russia · The Fantastic Flying Journey · The Fantastic Dinosaur Adventure · The Ark's Anniversary · Keeper · Toby the Tortoise · Marrying Off Mother and Other Stories · The Aye-Aye and I · Puppy Tales · The Best of Gerald Durrell Illustrators Famous TV series Notable others Zoos, aquariums, and aviaries Types of zoos Conservation Lists Animals Other topics
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