Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Zoo Logic

Feb 28, 2019

By the late 1960's, the Arabian oryx was considered extinct in the wild. Some of the few remaining animals living in human care were sent to the Phoenix Zoo in the early 1970's because its desert climate matched the species' former natural range across the Middle East. From just nine animals, zoo professionals were able to establish a successful breeding herd with subsequent offspring sent to other zoos to rebuild a sustainable population. The program was so successful that by 1982, Arabian Oryx were beginning to be reintroduced in safe zones across its former range. It is the first species to ever be down listed from "extinct in the wild" to a much improved (but still at risk) status of "vulnerable."

Today, the Phoenix zoo's rich history of conservation success is coordinated at its conservation center by Brad Poynter, curator of conservation science. The center is responsible for the preservation, and in some instances, the reintroduction of at-risk species native to Arizona, including the once believed extinct Black-footed ferret.