Terra Natura is a zoological park that came about as an alternative response to the new needs of modern-day society; a society that is increasingly better-informed and more committed in terms of respect for nature and the conservation of natural resources. In this context, zoological institutions are not only being expected to modernize their facilities and enclosures for holding wild animals, but also to optimize the quality of their animal care by enhancing the level of training given to keepers on a continuous basis, instigating educational activities for visitors and, most importantly, developing and implementing research and conservation activities which help to strengthen animals’ chance of survival ex situ and can be exported to those same species in situ

The words ‘ex situ’ are used to refer to wild animals which are away from their natural habitat; they are born, grow and breed within the facilities of a wildlife park which have been specially designed to meet their different biological needs. Actions undertaken in this area aim to keep populations stable and increase the gene pool in order to conserve the species and facilitate possible reintroduction in natural areas where they have disappeared or are in danger of disappearing. Terra Natura works in support of the conservation of species in danger of extinction as a participant in programmes organized and directed by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) through various EEPs (European Endangered Species Programmes), offering the institution and these programmes its modern, naturalized animal facilities in accordance with the environmental needs of each EEP species. An EEP symbol next to each animal enclosure tells you that it forms part of these immensely important programmes for the conservation of species in danger of extinction in zoos.

At Terra Natura we see conservation as a set of consistent principles and actions aimed at safeguarding and increasing the survival prospects of animal species in danger of extinction (IUCN), whether through actions directed at captive populations, i.e. “ex situ”, or those in their own natural habitats, “in situ”.

If we continue with the current rate of deforestation, destruction and transformation of the different natural areas of the planet – even in certain protected areas – by establishing croplands, urban expansion, industrial spread, etc., there will not be enough space or resources left (plant coverage, refuge, food sources, access to water) to guarantee the survival of wild fauna in the medium and long term. Terra Natura, aware of this ominous situation, is already working with certain animal species such as the ocelot, jaguar, Sumatran tiger, Asian lion, Asian elephant, Indian gaur, Barasingha deer and Asian dhole, to name just some of the more important species in our institutional zoological programme.

The objective is to take part in the different European Endangered Species Programs (EEPs) to ensure the conservation of populations in captivity and expand their genetic variability, following the directives and recommendations given each year by the Taxonomic Advisory Group (TAG) for each animal group under study and coordinating the movements of male and female animals for breeding purposes between the different participating institutions.

Support for ex situ conservation needs to be underpinned by parallel actions that foster in situ conservation in places where there is an urgent need to take measures to protect and recover a species in its natural habitat. It is in this respect that, further on, we will be explaining the actions that Terra Natura undertakes through its Foundation, which involves a group of experts in different conservation areas in the Iberian Peninsula, Africa and central Asia.
* EEP. European Endangered Species Program;
**TAG. Siglas de Taxonomic Advisory Group,


Suscríbete a nuestra newsletter