Reverse the Red: turning the tide of species extinctions

Thousands of animal species are on the Red List of the nature conservation organization IUCN. This listing means they are threatened with extinction. The campaign “Reverse the Red” is designed to stop – and ultimately reverse – the path to extinction. Schönbrunn is a cooperation partner with other zoos, nature conservation organizations, federal ministries, botanical gardens and museums in this global initiative.

In a combined effort, we are developing and implementing measures that help secure the survival of species and ecosystems. This effort involves a recurrent cycle of steps:

  • determine the status of a species
  • develop a strategic plan for its protection
  • implement that plan

Showcase project: northern river terrapin (batagur)

The species protection project for the northern river terrapin is an outstanding example. This turtle species was considered extinct in the wild. After a sensational captive breeding success – a world‘s first – the zoo initiated a large-scale rescue project in Bangladesh. We were able to track down and buy remaining captive river terrapins and erected two breeding stations in which the turtles could live and reproduce in safety. Adult animals are currently being equipped with satellite transmitters and being released into the wild. More about this project

Dr. Doris Preininger, a scientific staff member of Schönbrunn Zoo: “Our website ‘Reverse the Red’ presents success stories in the species protection sector. We are proud that our project Batagur baska – designed to protect the northern river terrapin in Bangladesh – has been selected as one of the seven positive case studies. These examples underline that it is possible to save an animal species from extinction.”