Bristol Zoo Unveils Plans For National Wildlife Conservation Park

Thu, 7/17/2008 - 8:31 AM

National Wildlife Conservation Park

Base case exhibits (open in 2012)

* Congo Tropical Rainforest

The bonobos in the Congo Tropical Forest exhibit

The Congo Tropical Forest exhibit links to the Lomako Forest area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where tropical forest loss and illegal hunting are putting pressure on the ecosystem. This exhibit will include a replica of the river ‘Congo’ and an island home to a family of bonobos, a species of chimpanzee.

The Congo Tropical Forest exhibit will also be home to okapis, one of the rarest mammals in the world, venomous gaboon vipers and birds such as wattled cranes, glossy ibis and black-billed touracos which will inhabit the canopy of the tropical forest trees in the aviary.

Visitors to this area of the National Wildlife Conservation Park will be able to find out about work carried out at the Lomako Forest bonobo project as well as visiting the exhibit’s ranger station to learn more about this little-known eco-system and see some of smaller rainforest dwellers such as giant Congo millipedes.

* Sumatra Rainforest

Sumatran tigers and the walk-through tiger tunnel of the Sumatra Rainforest exhibit

The Sumatra Rainforest exhibit links with the Gunung Leuser National Park in the Sumatran Aceh lowland rainforests – one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. Visitors to this area of the Park will be able to see gibbons, Sumatran tigers and, in a later phase of the development of the Park, critically endangered orang-utans.

Features of this exhibit include a chasm in the earth designed to replicate a seismic shift, a ranger station built in the style of a Sumatran stilted longhouse and a long tiger tunnel through which visitors will be able to walk to get an ‘up-close’ encounter with the tigers.


The Sumatran lowland rainforest is home to some of the world’s rarest large mammals. For centuries local people and animals have co-existed, both depending on the resources of the rainforest for survival. But the removal of the forest for timber and farmland is placing enormous pressures on the rainforest; less than a third of the native lowland rainforest survives.

Sumatran tigers in their enclosure in the Sumatran Rainforest exhibit
 

* British Ancient Woodland

 The British Ancient Woodland exhibit aims to transport visitors back to a time when brown bears and wolves roamed the British countryside.

It will give visitors a taste of Britain’s prehistoric past, its more recent past and the impact our decisions could have on the future. This exhibit is set within the Park’s existing ancient woodland - home to native trees such as oak, birch, ash and beech as well as flowering plants such as bluebells, snowdrops, orchids, wild garlic, foxgloves and ferns.

Visitors will be able to walk along a screened boardwalk in the woods to see these woodland animals at close quarters. At a later phase lynx and wolverine will be added to the exhibit.

 

 

* Indian Ocean Coral Reef

The Indian Ocean Coral Reef exhibit demonstrates the deforestation threat and the subsequent coral reef damage to the island of Moheli, in the Comoros Archipelago, off the East coast of Africa.

On arriving at this exhibit, visitors enter a tropical montane forest inhabited by Livingstone’s fruit bats, mongoose lemurs and chameleons. A stream will run through the exhibit, leading the visitors down to a beach area and a Ranger Station.

A path will take visitors to an underwater walkway below the ‘ocean’ and the coral reef. Here visitors will come face to face with black tip reef sharks, blue stingray and tropical fish such as unicorn fish, parrot fish, dottybacks, eels and surgeonfish.

 Master plan exhibit (a later phase in the development of the Park)

* Tanzania Savannah

* Tanzania Savannah

The Savannah Outlook Restaurant, overlooking the giraffe and zebra of the Tanzania Savannah exhibit

Situated on the lower plateau of the Park, the lower fields of the National Wildlife Conservation Park will become the Tanzania Savannah ecosystem, recreating the open expanse of the plains of the Tarangire National Park.

Visitors will take a ‘safari jeep’ ride to see endangered species such as cheetahs, rhinos and African wild dogs, as well as giraffes, kudu, zebra, wart hogs and ostrich. The driver will tell visitors more about the animals here and how their natural habitats are under increasing pressure from the booming human population in Tanzania.

A Ranger Station will accommodate smaller reptile, amphibians and invertebrates for the public to see close-up, as well as providing regular updates on the Park’s conservation and research projects in the wild.

Linked to the key conservation site of Tarangire National Park in Northern Tanzania, the Tanzania Savannah exhibit is scheduled to open after the Park first opens in 2012, and will expand the breadth and scope of the integrated conservation education work of the Park.
The Savannah Outlook Restaurant, overlooking the giraffe and zebra of the Tanzania Savannah exhibit

Situated on the lower plateau of the Park, the lower fields of the National Wildlife Conservation Park will become the Tanzania Savannah ecosystem, recreating the open expanse of the plains of the Tarangire National Park.

Visitors will take a ‘safari jeep’ ride to see endangered species such as cheetahs, rhinos and African wild dogs, as well as giraffes, kudu, zebra, wart hogs and ostrich. The driver will tell visitors more about the animals here and how their natural habitats are under increasing pressure from the booming human population in Tanzania.

A Ranger Station will accommodate smaller reptile, amphibians and invertebrates for the public to see close-up, as well as providing regular updates on the Park’s conservation and research projects in the wild.

Linked to the key conservation site of Tarangire National Park in Northern Tanzania, the Tanzania Savannah exhibit is scheduled to open after the Park first opens in 2012, and will expand the breadth and scope of the integrated conservation education work of the Park.

National Wildlife Conservation Park

Environmental Sustainability
What is sustainability? Sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
NWCP will champion conservation through mass mobilisation; it will enable others to engage with sustainability through examples of its design, construction, infrastructure, landscaping and maintenance. Some illustrations of this are given below.

* Procurement
Supplies will be locally-sourced where possible, with 80% purchased from within 50 miles. This includes items such as building materials, fuel and supplies and food stuffs, which will be organic, ethically sourced and free range wherever possible.

* Eco buildings
The designs of all buildings at NWCP have been reviewed to ensure the use of sustainable construction techniques and features.

Where appropriate, buildings will be constructed from sustainable local sources, using natural renewable materials, to reduce transportation and stimulate the local economy. British timber will be used where possible using certification schemes such as The Forest Stewardship Council or other more local suppliers with first class sustainable credentials. All buildings will be situated to accommodate the landscape’s existing features.

There will be extensive use of skylights to maximise natural daylight; green roofs to attract native plants and wildlife and absorb rainfall; earthtubes and ventilation stacks to facilitate natural ventilation and cooling.

At NWCP such buildings will be used for animal houses, ranger stations, catering and retail outlets, the animal hospital, education centre and operational facilities.

All animals will be housed and contained in accommodation and paddocks that offer the highest standards of welfare, security and maximum engagement with visitors.

* Heating and cooling
Biomass boilers will be run on wood pellets, sourced from the South West. Wherever possible, buildings will be constructed so that the main elevations and windows make the most use of winter sun for heating or shade for cooling in summer.

* Transport
Green travel plans have formed an important part of the development of the Park, to enhance existing facilities within the area for non-car travel and to maximise the use of public transport by visitors, corporate visitors and staff.

The National Wildlife Conservation Park will be offering incentives to encourage visitors to travel by coach and other means, such as discounted group booking rates and promoting alternative travel information. This will also include developing links with the nearby Mall shopping centre.

* Water
NWCP aims to be self-sufficient in water supply, which will be sourced from an on-site borehole. Measures have been taken throughout the park to conserve water wherever possible. Waterless urinals and compost toilets will enable the production of compost for soil fertiliser.

* Waste
An odour-free, in-vessel composter will process all catering, animal and paper/cardboard waste, as well as treating the garden waste from the site. The resulting compost will be used to fertilise the land and paddock areas. All other waste will be sorted and collected separately, for recycling or re-use where possible.


The National Wildlife Conservation Park (NWCP) will offer visitors a real experience of the world of active wildlife conservation. It will be a world wildlife reserve at the hub of a global conservation programme and as such will be a living example of sustainability and good conservation practice.

 



       
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