Around the world, numerous animals and plants are becoming increasingly threatened. Their natural habitats are being pushed back as forests have to make way for farmland and road construction. Poaching and illegal hunting are also decimating the natural populations of many species. Together with our visitors, we are committed to the following worldwide projects.
Baden-Württemberg: Insect diversity
Wild herb meadows for butterflies and bees
Together with the BUND district association in Stuttgart, we have created colorful oases for butterflies on selected meadows in the city.
The range of flowers and food plants for caterpillars needs to be increased so that the butterflies can find enough food and develop here all year round. To achieve this, the use of slurry and fertilizer is discontinued and mulching is replaced by mowing. The mowing rhythm is also adapted to the needs of the butterflies and decreased from twelve cuts to only twice a year. To enhance the diversity of flowers and wild herbs in thje meadows seeds are distributed regularly. The project received an award from the expert jury of the UN Decade for Biological Diversity.
DR Congo: Virunga National Park
Protection of mountain gorillas, elephants and hippos
We have been supporting the Congohounds, the gorilla rangers' tracker dog team in Virunga National Park, since 2012 with 250,000 euros to date (as of July 2022). In addition to the purchase of two specially converted off-road vehicles for transporting the rangers and their dogs, the money is also covering veterinary and food costs.
School sponsorships: Fundraisering helps the orphanage on site to enable the children living there to attend school.
A short film (only in German) also gives an insight into Wilhelma's commitment in Virunga Park.
- Northern Kenya and Ethiopia: Grevy zebra
Mitigating human-animal conflict
Once at home in six African countries, populations of the Grevy's zebra have declined by over 80 percent since 1970. Only about 3,000 individuals remain today in northern Kenya and adjacent areas of Ethiopia. Competition with livestock for water and illegal hunting threaten the survival of this spectacular zebra species.
Since 2005 we have been supporting Marwell Wildlife in their conservation efforts, which are based on the cooperation with the local population. So far (as of July 2022), more than 30,500 Euros have been transferred.
- Kenya: Sea turtles
Sea turtle protection
We have been supporting the Aktionsgemeinschaft Artenschutz in its commitment to sea turtles since 2017. Thanks to the introduction of the Conservation Euro in 2019, an annual support of €10,000 was made possible.
So far (as of July 2022), just under €45,000 have been made available for the protection of the endangered sea dwellers. This enables the Kenyan NGO Bahari Hai, which works in the Ungwana Bay area, to secure nesting beaches and the clutches of five different sea turtle species.
- Namibia: Dogs help to protect cheetahs
Procurement of guard dogs to prevent human-animal conflict
The world's fastest land mammal is tragically in a race against extinction. Cheetahs are often victims in conflicts with farmers who defend their animals with guns against the predatory cats. Livestock guarding dogs drastically reduce these conflicts and thus deaths among the cheetahs.
We support the work of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia with the help of our friends' association with 25,000 € annually. This will significantly expand the CCF's guard dog program and reduce the herders' waiting time for a dog by half.
- DR Congo: Lola ya Bonobo
Sanctuary and reintroduction
The world's only sanctuary for bonobos near Kinshasa in the DR Congo rescues bonobo orphans that have lost their mothers through the illegal bushmeat trade. The young animals are lovingly raised for years and finally reintroduced into the wild in a protected area. The organization also carries out large-scale environmental education to win over the population for the protection of the animals.
We have been supporting the work of Lola ya Bonobo since 2013, most recently with €10,000 annually from our Conservation Euro. So far (as of July 2022), more than €60,000 have been raised in this way. In 2022, with financial support from Wilhelma, 14 bonobos were successfully reintroduced into the wild in the Ekolo ya Bonobo reserve.
- DR Congo: Okapi Wildlife Reserve
Like all zoos that keep okapis and participate in the Okapi EEP, Wilhelma also supports the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the Ituri Valley in Congo. There are living 5000 of the approx. 10,000 to 20,000 wild okapis. The Okapi Wildlife Reserve is committed to the conservation of the okapi's habitat.
We transfer 5000 US dollars annually to the project. This amount is used, among other things, for the equipment of the rangers and for PR projects that inform the population about the importance of this habitat.
- DR Congo: Bonobo alive
Anti-poaching protection and environmental education
Bonobo alive, an association founded by behavioral scientists, has its research area in Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The association organizes anti-poaching patrols in cooperation with the inhabitants of the respective villages in the national park and thus ensures the protection of the bonobos in the area. In return, schooling for children and general infrastructure are financially supported in the villages.
- DR Congo: Sarambwe Reserve
Mountain gorillas and other rare wild animals live in the Sarambwe Reserve in the east of the DR Congo. The Berggorilla & Regenwald Direkthilfe e.V. has been supported by us since 2009 through proceeds from the cell phone project and since 2019 also with the Conservation Euro. In addition to equipment for the rangers, the construction of patrol posts and the salaries of trackers were also financed.
- South Africa: Vulture protection with Vulpro
Sanctuary and reintroduction
The situation of vultures, victims of poaching, targeted poison baits and power lines worldwide, is desolate. The populations have collapsed drastically, the health police of the skies can no longer fulfill their task.
The VulPro organization educates people about the situation of vultures in southern Africa, cares for injured animals until they can be released back into the wild, and breeds offspring to strengthen the dwindling populations. We have been supporting these efforts with €5,000 annually since the introduction of the Conservation Euro in 2019.
- South Africa: Black Mambas
Female rangers against rhino hunters
Established in 2013, this all-female ranger unit has drastically reduced poaching of rhinos and other wildlife in Kruger National Park in South Africa. The project is impressive for its efficiency and social component. The women keep poachers at bay through their - unarmed - presence. They come from villages around the national park and, through their activities there, ensure that the next generations change their way of thinking. Because living rhinos mean tourism and therefore jobs and a future for the children.
Since 2022, we have been supporting the unit, which has been in financial distress due to the pandemic, with € 18,000 from the emergency fund of our friends‘ association.
Indonesia: Sumatran Rhino Rescue
Conservation breeding in the habitat
Since 2005, with the start of the EAZA rhino campaign, Wilhelma has supported rhino conservation with €75,000. Between 2019 and 2022, an additional €100,000 has been invested to become part of the Sumatran Rhino Rescue Alliance as a Strategic Partner of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF). This joint rescue effort between IUCN, National Geographic and the IRF aims to save the species of the Sumatran rhino, of which fewer than 80 animals remain, from ultimate extinction. Our support went towards the expansion of a breeding and research station in Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra, where a rhino calf was born in the spring of 2022.
- Indonesia: Sumatran Tiger
With the launch of the EAZA Tiger Campaign in 2002, Wilhelma began to raise funds for the Sumatran tiger and has so far (as of July 2022) been able to transfer over 120,000 € for the protection of the species in its native habitat.
Currently, we are supporting a project of our partner, the WildCats Conservation Alliance. Special "tiger protection units" patrol the Kerinci Seblat National Park on Sumatra, one of the largest protected areas in Southeast Asia and the most important refuge for Sumatran tigers of all. Since 2021, our friends‘ association has been funding the project with €20,000 annually.
- Indonesia: Rainforest for orangutans
Reforestation of tropical forest
The survival of orangutans is threatened primarily by the destruction of rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia. A major factor is the cultivation of palm oil. This short animated film informs about the consequences for the orangutans.
Since 2009, we have been supporting the reforestation to create new habitat for the red apes in the Lamandau Reserve on Borneo. Our local partner is the British Orangutan Foundation. Since 2019 it has received a total of €100,000 for the renaturation with native tree species that are particularly important for the orangutans. In addition to tree seedlings, the money was also used to purchase urgently needed working materials for the maintenance of the newly planted areas. The area replanted by Wilhelma connects two older forest areas and thus forms an important corridor for the animals living there. The area is also used for the reintroduction of confiscated orangutans, which are already having offspring there.
Since 2022, this project has also been supported by our friend’s association with 30,000 € annually.
- Philippines: Visayan Warty Pig
Breeding and mitigation of human-animal conflicts
The pig with the mane and funny name has nothing to laugh about in its home country, the Philippines. Because the Visayas Warty Pigs raid fields, they are illegally shot by farmers. The number of animals has therefore been severely decimated. Together with the German Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP) and the Philippine Talarak Foundation, we support local breeding and help find ways to reduce human-animal conflicts.
- Thailand: Hornbill project
Nest adoptions for Greater Hornbills and other hornbill species
The Hornbill Research Foundation of the Thai hornbill expert Prof. Pilai Poonswad has been fighting for 40 years for the protection of the highly endangered animals, whose beaks are traded like ivory. One focus area of her work is the Budo-Sungai Padi National Park in southern Thailand. To protect the birds, people from the surrounding villages are trained and employed to watch the nesting trees and protect the animals from poachers.
Wilhelma's trainees began supporting the project more than ten years ago with annual nest adoptions. Since the introduction of the Conservation Euro in 2019, we have been able to expand the funding to more than 30 nests each year.
- Thailand: Asian Elephants
WWF project at the Kuiburi National Park
Asian elephants are severely threatened throughout their entire habitat. Together with the members of "Team Elefant Stuttgart", we support the WWF's conservation project in Thailand. In Kuiburi National Park, various methods are being used to reduce the human-animal conflicts that arise.
- Kyrgyzstan: Snow Leopards
Anti-poaching patrols and environmental education
With the construction of the new snow leopard enclosure, which opened in 2018, Wilhelma has entered into a cooperation with NABU to protect the animals in their home countries. In Kyrgyzstan, the unit "Gruppa Bars" fights poachers and their illegal trade in furs and bones of the animals. Locally NABU is doing important education work with herders and school children. By funding snow leopard-proof cattle pens, the association also prevents retaliation by herders against the cats.
This project has been financed by the Conservation Euro and donations made at the snow leopard enclosure. So far, over €57,000 were invested to protect these beautiful cats (as of July 2022).
- India: Greater Adjutant
Construction of artificial nest platforms and environmental education
The Greater Adjutant, also called Hargila in its homeland India, was very unpopular with local people because of its appearance and strong-smelling droppings. This led to massive persecution of the stork relative and the destruction of the large, old trees it needs to build its nest. A single woman, biologist Dr. Purnima Barman, turned things around: She began raising awareness among women in surrounding communities about the fate of the endangered bird. Today, over 10,000 women in northern Assam are organized in what is known as the „Hargila Army“. A great example of what is possible when the local population is involved in conservation efforts.
We have been supporting the project since 2019 with funds from our Conservation Euro and in 2022 - due to catastrophic floods in Assam - also from the emergency fund of our friend’s association with a total of 34,000 euros so far (as of July 2022).
- Laos and Vietnam: Saola
Environmental education and protection against poaching
The saola, also known as the Vu Quang bovid, is one of the most endangered mammals of our time. Its existence was unknown to science until 1993. The animals live in impenetrable forest areas and are extremely shy. Today, fewer than 100 remaining antelopes are thought to exist in the forests of Vietnam and Laos, and there are no Saola in human care. We support the work of the Saola Working Group, which is trying to save the species from extinction.
- Laos: Asian Elephants
We support the NGO Anoulak in developing a protection concept for the elephants in the Nakai-Nam Theun National Park. The elephants living there represent the largest remaining population in the country and are affected by the consequences of a dam construction.
Belize: CSFI Shipstern Reserve
Habitat protection through land purchase
Since 2015, we have supported the protected „Shipstern“ area in northeastern Belize with 325,000 € to date (as of July 2022). It consists of a wide variety of habitats such as tropical rainforest, mangrove and dry forest, making it home to jaguar, puma and tapir, as well as countless bird species.
In mid-2018, we supported the purchase of rainforest land with a donation of 100,000 euros, which allowed our local partner CSFI to establish a biological corridor. The area covers nearly 400 square kilometers. Since 2019, we have enabled its necessary protection by funding an additional four-member ranger unit with €50,000 annually.
- Mexico: Renaturalization of Rio Teuchitlán
Reintroduction of extirpated splitfin species
Prof. Omar Domínguez-Domínguez began renaturalizing the headwaters of the Rio Teuchitlán and reintroducing two extirpated fish species in 2015. After successfully bringing these two species back, a third, Sciffia francesae, the Golden Skiffia, is now being prepared for release.
We have been supporting these efforts to preserve the species and restore a valuable habitat with €5,000 annually since 2019.
Brazil: Anteaters & Highways
Preventing highway accidents
To give the giant anteaters a future, we are supporting Wild Animal Conservation Institute ICAS project in the Pantanal. Because the course of the Río Paraguay is drying up more and more, traffic is shifting from the water to overland roads. Anteaters are frequently injured or run over on the highways.
Wounded animals are nursed back to health and released into the wild as part of the project. These anteaters are given harnesses with transmitters which allows their movement to be monitored. From this, one can deduce where the animals are likely to cross highways and take protective measures.
- Brazil: Giant Armadillos & Honey
Reducing human-animal conflict
The "Giant Armadillos & Honey" conservation project of the Brazilian Wild Animal Conservation Institute (ICAS) aims to reduce the human-animal conflicts that are costing the lives of many of the charming but highly endangered giant armadillos. Armadillos knock down beehives on nightly forays and feast on insect brood. Retaliatory strikes by local beekeepers are the result.
We finance the initiative of ICAS, which helps beekeepers to secure their hives on higher platforms and to market the certified "armadillo-safe honey", with 20,000 € annually. This sum has been covered by our Friend’s Association since 2021. So far, more than 60,000 € have been given to the project (as of July 2022).
- Brazil: Vinaceous-breasted Amazon
The Vinaceous-breasted Amazon has been doomed by many people's desire to have a parrot as a pet. Taken from the wild en masse, populations of this bird species have collapsed. The Brazilian NGO Instituto Espaço Silvestre (IES), under the direction of Dr. Vanessa Tavares Kanaan, has made it its mission to bring the animals into their care by educating the public. Many people surrender their animals to IES when they learn that it is important for the survival of the species. In a process lasting several months, the birds are prepared for a life in freedom and are released into the wild in Araucárias National Park. The former pets and their wild-born offspring are scientifically monitored.
We have been funding the project through our partner, the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Population (ZGAP), since 2020 with €75,000 from the Conservation Euro to date (as of July 2022)
- Ecuador: Spectacled Bear
Purchase of rainforest
The increasing consumption of meat also in Europe leads to more and more loss of rainforest. In South America, areas of high biodiversity are cleared daily to create cattle pastures. In Ecuador, the precious rainforest areas, which are home to countless other species besides spectacled bears and tapirs, are threatened with destruction.
We are therefore supporting the Ecuadorian NGO Jocotoco daher bei der Erweiterung bestehender Schutzgebiete durch den Ankauf von Regenwaldflächen. Seit 2019 haben wir dafür über 250.000 € aufgewendet (Stand Juli 2022).
- Ecuador: Magnolias
Research and purchase of rainforest areas
Ecuador's Andean forests are home not only to rare animals, but also to plant species still unknown to science. Through the NGO Jocotoco, we have facilitated expeditions to search for magnolia species and financed the purchase of rainforest areas where specimens of the highly endangered species have been found.
- Ecuador: Jambato Harlequin Frog
A tiny remnant population of the frog, which was already thought to be extinct, was discovered in 2016. Thus, although there are still animals of this species, it is still considered critically endangered. The project at "Centro Jambato" is committed to the long-term survival of the Harlequin Frog through successful breeding in human care, research on possible reintroduction, and education of the population.
We have been supporting the environmental education aspect of the project since 2021 with €5,000 annually from the proceeds of the Conservation Euro.
Koala Project of the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation
Species protection, research and environmental education
Koalas are now seriously threatened by the consequences of climate change and the progressive use of their habitat by humans. We support the work of the Australian Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation (DWF), which has launched the "Koala Land" project. The aim is to work with experts from all sectors - including wildlife rescuers, researchers and veterinarians - to define the factors that are imperative for the survival of the remaining koala populations.
- Save the Bilby: Rescuing the rabbit-eared bandicoots
The Save the Bilby Fund works for the survival of the cute marsupial, which is highly threatened by introduced cats and foxes. We support the work of the Fund since 2022 with 10,000 € annually.
Become a conservationist
- The Conservation Euro is a voluntary contribution that visitors can pay when purchasing an adult ticket. Children's tickets do not include the Conservation Euro.
- If you do not wish to make this donation, you can opt out of this option during the booking process. The contribution will not be charged.
- 100 percent of the money collected through this initiative goes to our projects worldwide.
- There are no deductions for administrative costs.
- The Conservation Euro enables the effective protection of mountain gorillas, Grevy's zebras, Sumatran tigers, native insects and many more.
Thank you for also being part of the alliance for nature.