Parks Reactivating the Pulse of Biodiversity | Tourist

What do the first baby Andalusian gorilla, an elephant calf and a small Bornean orangutan have in common? They were all born in one of three bioparcs that exist in Spain, becoming a symbol of hope and environmental resilience at a time when their respective species were in danger of extinction.

On May 22, the International Day for Biodiversity is observed, which has been established by the United Nations to remember that human existence depends on respecting, recovering and conserving natural places. And that is precisely the guiding principle of the three parks ⎯Bioparc Valencia, Bioparc Fuengirola (Málaga) and Bioparc Acurio de Gijón (Asturias)⎯, which represent a proposal for leisure “with reason”. As the Senegalese environmentalist Baba Diom said: “We will only keep what we love, we will only love what we understand and we will only understand what we have been taught”. And thanks to visitors’ immersive experience in the ecosystems created at the BioPark, you can see firsthand the planet’s natural beauty and biodiversity that must be protected.

Specimens of loggerhead turtles have been recovered in the Bioparc Gijón. They present a good example of ‘in situ’ and ‘ex situ’ conservation.

Zuimerson and the recovery of biodiversity

The Bioparc proposal, unique in Spain, is a wild nature journey with the aim of raising awareness in society about the urgency of the environment and climate. Observing elephants walking among baobabs, flamingo mating in the only wetland that exists this year in Malaga due to drought, or relaxing in the sun next to giraffes is possible thanks to careful recreation of threatened habitats.

In addition to raising awareness through direct observation, Biopark’s biodiversity conservation work follows two types of action: ex situ conservation (in park facilities, with controlled breeding and reproduction of endangered species) and in situ conservation (in natural habitats). ), work and funding of the BioPark Foundation via.


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Each of the three Bioparcs in Spain has specialized in recovery operations for endangered species born and raised in their enclosures, thanks to the extensive technical and veterinary work of their breeding and breeding programs aimed at maintaining the populations . Inbreeding problems. That’s how we found Akan, the little gorilla in the Fuengirola Bioparc, which means “common” in Senegal, and he was the first of his species to be bred under the Málaga conservation program. A year later and in the same park, Neo, the fourth Borneo orangutan calf born in Fuengirola, came into the world, unaware that the tropical forest from which it came was thousands of kilometers away and at serious risk due to human action.

According to the calculations of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are only 104,700 orangutans left in the world. In fact, the accelerated rate of biodiversity destruction in tropical rainforests – due to indiscriminate deforestation for pulp and palm oil, wildfires, land degradation and drought – could wipe out this species in five decades. The Biopark Foundation, in collaboration with the Borneo Nature Foundation Association, works on the in situ conservation of orangutans in their natural habitat in Borneo, contributing to the conservation of the species through awareness of deforestation and local populations, thanks to Successful breeding program in Fuengirola. The center is also a leader in the breeding of Komodo dragons, of which there are only 1,500 specimens left in the world.

The gorilla ‘Acon’ lives in the Bioparc Fuengirola, the first of its kind to be bred under the Málaga Conservation Program.

Valencia Bioparc participates in the European Endangered Species Program (EPP), specializing in restoring the habitat and meeting the conservation needs of the African elephant, which numbered 26 million specimens on the African continent in the 19th century And today hunts for poaching and their scarcity. Land has reduced the species to only 350,000 elephants. In this context, the Valencia Bioparc has opted for complex artificial insemination of one of its six women, in addition to the task of raising awareness for the conservation of biodiversity. The long-awaited launch in December 2022, after a long gestation period of 22 months under the careful supervision of the park’s technical team makena, Which means “he who is happy” in the Kikuyu language of Kenya. Watching this baby elephant being cared for by its mother and aunts, finding out how its own trunk works or clumsily walking through the majesty of the baobab forest is an experience that is bound to spark an affinity for nature among visitors. Inspires love and commitment.

In the Nandoumri Valley (between Senegal and the Gambia), the Bioparc Foundation has been developing an afforestation project since 2015 in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute Spain.

Other endangered species that have also been recovered in the Valencian Park as a result of the international conservation programs in which it participates are the Maurer gazelles, which were extinct in the wild and reintroduced from Africa to different regions of the North. Thanks to the initiative of Professor José Antonio Valverde, who in the 70s insisted on the transfer of some of those gazelles from Spanish Sahara to the Saharan Fauna Rescue Center (CRFS), which is based on the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) Reliably, today 300 specimens of Maurer gazelles are alive, distributed in various conservation institutions.

commitment to water

Aquatic ecosystems, for their part, are the protagonists of the Gijón Bioparc through a tour of 60 freshwater and saltwater aquariums, which represent 12 ecosystems, from the Cantabrian, Atlantic and Mediterranean Seas to the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Caribbean Sea and the larger Let’s make it again. African rivers and lakes. In total, there are 5,000 animals of 460 species, including cold-water and tropical corals, bull, mosasaur and hard-to-grow gray sharks, mosaic rays, dogfish sharks and loggerhead turtles.

In essence this species, the loggerhead turtle, represents an example of in situ and ex situ conservation in two bioparks. On the one hand, this year the CRAMA (Centro de Recuperación de Animales Marinos de Asturias) Bioparc has been launched, which aims to use its facilities as a rescue point for wild species that used to appear stranded on the beaches of Paradise. and may return to sea for as long as attention and recovery are required. On the other hand, an example of active conservation in a natural environment occurred in the Fuengirola Bioparc (Málaga), when it was reported to have 12 loggerhead turtle eggs located in a nest that was endangered in Algeciras (Cádiz). After 90 days of thorough monitoring and artificial incubation, the park was able to successfully release 12 of these turtles back into their marine environment.

Komodo dragons, in the Bioparc Fuengirola. The center is also a pioneer in the breeding of this species, of which there are only 1,500 specimens left worldwide.

restoration of native habitats

The reintroduction of the species in its natural habitat responds to the commitment of the three Biopark spaces to preserve and return what nature has to offer. This is the case, for example, of the peculiar gallipato (‘ofgabus’ in Valencian), an amphibian classified as a vulnerable species after being born and raised in captivity in Valencia, in controlled ways in its natural habitat. is brought from again. ,

Beyond our borders, especially in the Nandoumri Valley (between Senegal and Gambia), the Bioparc Foundation has been developing a reforestation project since 2015 in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Spain Institute. This is another example of conservation on the ground, which counteracts the devastating effects of forest clearing and intensive agriculture on western chimpanzee populations, which cannot move freely due to the degradation of ecological corridors that link different natural areas . Deforestation of the valley with indigenous varieties cultivated in nurseries managed by local populations has made it possible to recreate a green corridor that connects different groups of chimpanzees, which are needed to recover genetic diversity and return to nature. This movement and exchange is required in order to return to. A place that should never have been lost.

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