Conservation In Action
Through Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center, patrons see tangible conservation efforts. The research supported by Topeka Zoo enables zoos all over the world to collaborate and help further the mission of conservation.
Topeka Zoo enriches the community through wildlife conservation and education. The zoo’s Conservation Committee helps to guide the organization towards practicing, promoting, and supporting conservation at home and around the globe. Our conservation work takes many forms including hands-on conservation work in the field by zoo staff, funding efforts of organizations, making our own facilities greener, and using our animal collection to improve conditions for endangered animals through research in cooperation with other zoos.
AZA Managed Programs
The mission of an AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species population, within AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, certified related facilities, and sustainability partners. In order to be an SSP, a population must meet requirements related to genetic diversity, population number, and the number of institutions that have that species at their facility.
Each SSP maintains a studbook that is maintained by a studbook keeper. This document provides information about the lineage, reproductive history, and transfers of each individual animal in a species population.
Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center participates in several SSPs including:
African Crested Porcupine
Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula
Black and White Ruffed Lemur
North American River Otter
Crested Wood Partridge
African Painted Dog
Golden Lion Tamarin
Southern Three-banded Armadillo
Greater Malayan Chevrotain
Grey Crowned Crane
Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth
Lesser Madagascar Hedgehog Tenrec
Monarch Butterfly Citizen Science at Zoo
The loss of habitat available to monarchs has been measured at approximately 6,000 acres per day across the U.S. or 2.2 million acres each year.
Topeka Zoo is leading the charge to provide more habitat for monarch butterflies in the form of butterfly gardens on and off grounds. Topeka Zoo currently has 14 butterfly beds, covering 6,383 square feet of space, offering monarchs milkweed as their larval plants and flowering plants for nectar to feed adults. The zoo is also currently pursuing off-grounds sites to establish even larger monarch-friendly beds in the community.
We are also coordinating the efforts of accredited zoos across Kansas. Education is key to raising the level of awareness about the challenges monarchs face, and to inspiring citizens across Kansas and throughout monarch migration routes to plant more monarch-friendly larval and nectar plants (milkweed and flowering plants) to provide more habitat for monarchs.
YOU CAN HELP!
In an effort to help this declining species, we offer free monarch butterfly education programs and tagging events. These two-hour classes are held at the Kansas Museum of History. Participants learn about the monarch butterfly and how to properly catch and tag them. Guests will then go outdoors to the museum’s prairie and will be given nets to catch, tag, and release the monarchs.
Data collected from these classes will be sent to the citizen science organization Monarch Watch, which will use the information to help preserve and protect this beautiful species.
Dates for Monarch Butterfly Citizen Science:
All classes are held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Kansas Museum of History.
- Monday, September 17
- Wednesday, September 19
- Tuesday, September 25
- Thursday, September 27
Pre-registration is required, and the classes can fill quickly, so please register as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact the Education Department at 785-368-9137 or RRost@Topeka.org.