At the zoo, she met with conservation experts who demonstrated how the team is protecting iconic Australian species.
The team showed Ms Cantillon the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning and outlined the Zoo’s education and conservation programmes. She saw first hand their Greater Bilby breed and release programme Taronga, along with its partners, has reintroduced bilbies to the Sturt National Park, 100 years after they went extinct in the area.
There are just 9,000 left in the wild and the release at Sturt increased the total bilby population by 17%.
She also heard about Taronga’s breed and release programme for the Regent Honeyeater, a critically endangered Australian bird. Only 350 remain in the wild, but in October 58 were released to help bolster the wild population.
British Consul General Louise Cantillon said:
As the focus of COP26 moves towards the role of nature and adaptation it’s great to see the work of the Taronga here in Sydney, and by extension their team in Dubbo. Their impressive work to breed and release native animals such as the bilby and the Plains-wanderer and their conservation research puts nature first.
Nature underpins human health, wellbeing and prosperity and we need to ensure countries, business and individual’s value and defend these assets. Protecting and restoring nature must be part of the pathway to net zero which is why the UK is encouraging countries to include nature-based solutions in their climate plans.
Taronga Zoo Sydney’s Divisional Director for Welfare Conservation and Science, Nick Boyle, said:
Taronga works with many partners across the world to tackle pressing conservation challenges and it is a privilege to be able to share our work with the British Deputy Consul today.
Sadly many iconic Australian species, including koalas and Taronga’s emblem, the platypus, are facing increased challenges as a result of climate change.
The UN Climate Conference is an opportunity for us all to reflect on how we can make the best choices to protect our planet for future generations and for the incredible wildlife we share it with.