As both a member of British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the European Association of Zoos & Aquaria, Exmoor Zoo actively co-operates in national and international breeding programmes for many of the world’s rarest birds and animals. The zoo is particularly successful with its wetland birds. Many bred at the zoo find homes with zoos and wildlife parks all over Europe. During most months of the year there are always new families to be seen with their parents in the zoo's aviaries, enclosures and paddocks.
At home the zoo realises the importance of its local habitats and wildlife. If you keep your eyes open while walking around the zoo you will see many unusual native birds, butterflies, insect, reptiles and amphibians happily living alongside their more exotic companions. The zoo maintains 2 areas of natural meadow within its grounds and its sitatunga wetland (enclosure 31) is home to a thriving colony of toads. During some years paths have had to be closed because of the number of young toad and froglets leaving the lake. Weeds and nettles are not automatically cleared as in some zoos and are encouraged in many areas to provide food and shelter for our own important wildlife.
On entering the Zoo you will notice an abundance of house sparrows. These are monitored by a British Ornithologist Trust ringer and nest boxes are scattered throughout, supporting a population of nearly 1,000 birds by the end of summer. Spring time (from mid March to June) is a lovely time to visit and the sounds of our white storks clattering their beaks as part of their courtship on a wind free day can reverberate around the zoo. These storks are all part of the zoo's rewilding project.
Fundraising at the zoo has in the past benefited the Yupukari river turtles through the Rupununi learners (an Amazon Indian education co-operative in Guyana). In conjunction with Linton Zoo in Cambridgeshire a project initiated and run by the local indigenous peoples of the area called "The Yupukari river turtle head start program" has been successfully supported. This has achieved fantastic results and has the support of all the schools around the Yupukari river. The aim is to protect the adult female turtles that lay the eggs by involving the local communities and their children and change their view on this species from that of a good opportunity meal to one when just males are harvested for special occasion meals!
The charity more recently has made formal ties with the Stitching Wild Dog Foundation https://www.painteddog.org/ and the Cheetah Conservation Fund https://cheetah.org/ and donated to the Begawan Foundation involved in the survival of Bali starlings in the wild https://speciesonthebrink.org/ .
The zoo has also established a nature trail along the boundary stream at the bottom of the zoo. Originally overgrown with an invasive weed Himalayan balsam the area is being managed to return it to native meadow and scrub.
A more formal Conservation Strategy on behalf of the charitable trust is attached Download