Ground-breaking reintroductions by The Aspinall Foundation
This is The Aspinall Foundation's 30th Anniversary, celebrating thirty years of ground breaking conservation through breeding, educaton and reintroduction. The Aspinall Foundation’s mission has always been to transfer captive bred animals into protected areas in the wild; where it is possible to do so. This strategy not only helps stop current decline in wild populations within an area, but also reintroduces species that have become locally extinct.
Up until now the charity, in conjunction with the UK-based wildlife parks Howletts and Port Lympne, has celebrated a number of significant milestones along our conservation path. In the late 1990s we were part of a consortium of zoos and NGOs involved in the return of a small group of Przewalski’s horses to Mongolia, and over the years we have sent a total of 5 Eastern black rhino to two different protected reserve areas in South Africa and Tanzania.
The Aspinall Foundation’s flagship project remains the work we do to protect gorillas in the neighbouring countries of Congo and Gabon. The charity has released over 40 confiscated wild born gorillas and reintroduced 20 gorillas, born at the wild animal parks in Kent, back into the wild and celebrated 26 births since the projects were first established.
We are now in the final stages of prepareation for an entire family group of western lowland gorillas, who were cared for at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, to their final steps over a bridge from Gorilla Island back into the wild. This groundbreaking translocation, by The Aspinall Foundation, will mark the first time that a reintroduction of this size has ever been attempted – CLICK HERE to read about the latest news from Gorilla Island.
In the meantime, you can read more about our flagship project here.
New arrivals for the Java Primate Project
In 2011, The Aspinall Foundation completed work on a primate rescue and rehabilitation centre on the island of Java in Indonesia. Shortly afterwards the project welcomed its first residents at the centre, which primarily comprised the endangered Javan or silvery gibbon.
While we continue to work mainly with this endangered primate, we are also doing work to conserve other primate species on the island – including the Eastern Javan langur. The habitat surveys we conducted as part of our broader primate conservation work in Java identified a 40,000 acre site that was suitable for the immediate reintroduction of Javan langurs and, as we have highly successful breeding groups at both wild animal parks, the decision was made to start an Indonesian primate reintroduction program with a group of 8 captive bred langurs. As with all of our reintroductions, the departing animals had their diets slowly modified pre-departure in order to get them used to their new exotic menu, and they are under going a period of acclimatisation and monitoring as they are gradually released within their new habitat.
These 8 Javan langurs were joined by 1 female Javan gibbon, called Regina, who were transferred to The Aspinall Foundation’s Java Primate Rescue Centre in the West of Java. After a period of quarantine Regina was introduced to a wild born Javan gibbon who we rescued last year, and who is being slowly rehabilitated in preparation for reintroduction in the future.
With your help, Regina, will eventually be joined by four more captive bred Javan Gibbons from the Wild Animal Parks in Kent.