Loro Parque Foundation’s work succeeds in saving 9 species of parrots from extinction

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Thanks to its conservation efforts, the Loro Parque Foundation has managed to save a total of 9 parrot species from total extinction. Since its creation in 1994, the Loro Parque Foundation has supported conservation projects for endangered species with an economic contribution of more than $18,000,000. The change of threat category in many of these 9 species is a worldwide environmental conservation success that makes this non-profit organisation the most effective in this area internationally.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) ‘Red List’ groups the different species into different categories of threat: of minor concern, almost threatened, vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered, extinct in the wild and extinct. The psittacids – the parrots – are one of the most threatened groups of birds on the planet. Thanks to the efforts of the Foundation, 9 species have been saved from imminent extinction.

Below is a list of the species with specific information on each of the projects and their results.

Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis) – Colombia

In 1998, there were only 82 Yellow-eared Parrots in Colombia. Over the years, thanks to the technical and financial support of the Loro Parque Foundation, with a contribution of more than $1,500,000 dollars, its population is currently around 4,000. Thus, its category has changed from ‘critically endangered’ to ‘endangered’.

This bird is directly linked to a local palm tree from which the leaves were extracted for religious and cultural celebrations. And the link between the two species is so close that if the palm tree disappears, the Yellow-eared Parrot becomes extinct. The use of artificial nests, several repopulation and local awareness actions with the indigenous population and their authorities were carried out with such success that, today, this species of parrot can be seen in flocks. Through the local organisation `ProAves’, measures have been implemented that have enabled local people to become directly involved and protect their unique natural asset.

Lear’s Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) – Brazil

The Lear’s Macaw, a native of north-eastern Brazil, has historically been the victim of hunting, looting, habitat destruction and pressures of various kinds in an area where conditions are extreme. In 1994, the census was less than 200 individuals, but today there are 1,300 individuals, moving them from the ‘critically endangered’ category up to ‘endangered’. Loro Parque Foundation has supported different actions for the recovery of this species with more than $460,000.

Among the most relevant of the actions is that of compensating the region’s maize farmers, who blamed the damage to their crops on this species. Once the actual damage has been demonstrated, the creation of a fund generated from different institutions allows growers to receive payment of the corresponding amounts with the commitment not to kill the macaws to avoid the occasional reduction in their production.

The region in which they live, the Caatinga, (which means White Forest in the indigenous South American Tupi language, as in times of extreme drought the trees lose all their leaves and the ends of their branches become whitish) is very unique because, despite reaching high temperatures and extreme dryness, it harbours a great endemic biodiversity. At the same time, the recovery of this species assists the conservation of this area, which is very wide and difficult to cover.

The Loro Parque Foundation also participates in an ‘ex situ’ programme. In 2006, the Brazilian Government sent two pairs, which had been seized from illegal trafficking for reproduction, and the first breeding result was achieved after six months. Today, 32 of them have been born in Tenerife and 9 have returned to their country of origin, all of them forming part of the safety net of the species in controlled environments.

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Bolivia

Endemic to the vast plains of the Beni River, the Blue-throated Macaw, a true jewel of nature, did not exceed 50 specimens in the 1990s. Although still critically endangered, the populations that have been observed in the vast territory where they live now exceed 250 specimens. A large investment from 1995 to the present, of more than $1,500,000 dollars has made local populations aware of the danger to this species, which for years was exploited for the use of its feathers in traditional indigenous headdresses.

The development of artificial feathers and workshops to learn how to make headdresses with the substitutes, has allowed thousands of macaws, of different species to benefit. Fieldwork in conjunction with interested locals and their scientific institutions is making progress for this species which, given the uniqueness of its habitat and behaviour, requires a continuous effort over time.

Red-tailed Cockatoo (Aacatua haematuropygia) The Philippines

The Red- Vented Cockatoo project in the Philippines is one of the star projects supported by the Loro Parque Foundation. Thanks to the important efforts of the local NGO `Katala Foundation’, the various populations’ growth has been dizzying: from 22 in the 1990s to over 1,200 today, including the recent release to the wild of 7 specimens which were taken at an early age and later recovered from illegal trafficking.

One of its most illustrious protagonists, Indira Widman, recently received the Withley Awards for Nature and Conservation for her great work with this species, which, as its habitat is the islands, makes recovery and control very complex.

One of the most ingenious strategies developed has been to train prisoners in the local prison and former traffickers who plunder nests as ‘guardians of the wild’. They are now guards in areas where they themselves previously poached and now recognise the importance of the decimation of the populations.

Red-tailed Amazon, Brasil(Amazona brasiliensis) – Brazil

The Brazilian Red-tailed Amazon Parrot is an endangered species of the Atlantic rainforest, mainly from the states of Sao Paulo and Paraná (with very few individuals in the north of the state of Santa Catarina), in the southeast of Brazil. For more than a decade, the Loro Parque Foundation has supported activities for the conservation of the wild population of this species, and the efforts made have proved a resounding success.

In the 1980s, the total population of the Red-tailed Amazon was probably around 2,500, yet it is now estimated that there are more than 9,000 individuals, and the threat category of the species has been reduced from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’. The majority of the population – about 70% – is located in Paraná, where reproduction occurs on low-lying, forested islands along the coast. The forest is susceptible to disturbance, particularly due to the development of tourism and the felling of the tree species that this parrot prefers for nesting.

Consequently, Loro Parque Foundation has supported the environmental group ‘Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem e Educação Ambiental’ (SPVS) to monitor and protect its breeding areas, given that it is vital to involve the local population in order to preserve the trees on which the species depends, and it is encouraging to see how, in the short term, the use of artificial nests as an auxiliary system has given very good results and has had a direct impact on the increase in the numbers of the species.

Echo Parakeet (Psittacula eques) – Isla de Mauricio

The Echo Parakeet is the last surviving native species of the genus that once inhabited all the western islands of the Indian Ocean. They were common, but began to decline both in numbers and geographical distribution in the mid-1800s. In 1986, a population of only 8 to 12 individuals was estimated with just three females of an age to reproduce.

The decline was a consequence of the massive destruction and degradation of habitat, resulting in a shortage of native food-supplying trees and the large endemic trees needed to nest.

The recovery effort for this species was conducted through the ‘Mauritius Wildlife Foundation’, with which the Loro Parque Foundation actively collaborated to help meet its primary objective:- to establish a viable population of the Echo Parakeet in the wild. The programme made an important contribution to population growth, which reached 188 in 2003. In addition, successful releases of captive-bred parakeets were made, and a reinforcement of breeding between wild and captive-bred parakeets – one of the most relevant pieces of data was the reproduction of a captive-bred female mated with a wild male giving hope and viability to her species.

Twelve of these Mauritian parakeets, released during the breeding season on the island, survived in the native forests. As a result of all these efforts, continued over time, the growth of the species on the island continues to be exponential, with a census that today exceeds 500 specimens.

Blue-headed Macaw (Primolius couloni) – Peru

Peru, Brazil and Bolivia are home to the rare Blue-headed Macaw, although its localised populations are never very abundant. However, the global population is growing in numbers and its category of threat has also changed from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’.

The Loro Parque Foundation has funded field research for this species, developing field maps that describe the locations of the species that may temporarily be more or less abundant. Knowing the actual censuses of this species is the basis for its conservation, and its change in threat category does not completely ensure its disappearance in specific areas.

Horned Parakeet (Eunymphicus cornutus) – New Caledonia

In New Caledonia, a parakeet with a head adorned with elegant feathers has suffered for years from invasive species in its habitat, such as rats, which attack its eggs and chicks. Monitoring their territories throughout the breeding season, and identifying breeding strategies and habitat conditions for the species, have allowed it to thrive in recent years, moving them from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’.

To be able to identify the type of landscape in which they move, and to know their daily behaviour, as well as the problems they face, involves a great deal of research and technical work which, in this case, has given very good results.

Black-cheeked lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis) – Zambia

Since 1997, the Loro Parque Foundation has collaborated with the Research Centre for African Parrot Conservation in South Africa researching into the populations of the Black-cheeked lovebird, a small parrot whose populations in south-western Zambia were little known.

Interestingly, this was one of the last parrots discovered in Africa (1906), and the populations that existed under human care in Europe were greatly reduced after the two world wars, which affected the import of specific grains into Europe and could influence future demands for catches.

Learning about its habitat, its biology in general, and interacting with local populations so that they can understand the importance of preserving it and how to do so has been crucial for the recovery of this species that is now, once again, abundant in the environment. The Loro Parque Foundation continues to support the research of this species in the field in order to have updated censuses.

Versele-Laga and Loro Parque Fundación enhance cooperation

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Versele-Laga and Loro Parque Fundación have agreed to extend and enhance their cooperation. That was announced during the International Parrot Convention in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife. More than 16 years ago, they joined forces, with a shared vision of nature conservation as starting point. Meanwhile, the connection between the non-profit association and the manufacturer of premium bird food is stronger than ever.

The Loro Parque Fundación cooperates with the famed Loro Parque animal and parrot wildlife park on Tenerife. The park houses the world’s largest parrot and parakeet collection and was recently voted the best zoo in the world by TripAdvisor. They both have as mission to protect the animals and their natural habitat and to preserve it for future generations, in order to bring people closer to nature again.

In 2002, Versele-Laga and Loro Parque Fundación found eachother thanks to that shared vision of nature conservation. Through this partnership, the Loro Parque Fundación is able to rely on the needed financial resources to carry out its mission of actively helping to preserve endangered parrot species. This is expressed, for example, in educational programmes, sponsorship of various research projects and an own breeding station “La Vera”.

The knowledge in terms of nutrition gained during these projects, is brought to the open market through the Prestige Premium mixtures of Versele-Laga. In this way, every bird lover can enjoy the developped expertise in terms of nutrition and support the Loro Parque Fundación at the same time. Thanks to this foundation, nine parrot species have already been saved from extinction, while for many other species the population in the wild has improved.

After 16 years of constructive cooperation, the connection between Loro Parque Fundación and Versele-Laga is stronger than ever. In the build-up to the ninth edition of the International Parrot Convention, it was also decided that the cooperation will be extended and furter developped in terms of nutritional studies, knowledge exchange and developments. This will result in an even beter protection and preservation of these unique birds.

Loro Parque: Thomas Cook influenced by activists seeking to destroy zoos

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Source: https://www.efeverde.com/noticias/destruir-actividad-de-conservacion-zoos-loro-parque-thomas-cook/

The decision by British Tour Operator Thomas Cook to stop selling tickets for attractions with orcas is clearly influenced by activists who are not concerned about animals but about destroying zoos and their conservation activities, warned the Loro Parque Foundation today.

The Director of the Loro Parque Foundation, Javier Almunia, made this statement to EFE after Thomas Cook announced on July 29 its intention, starting this summer, to stop selling tickets for attractions that show orcas in captivity, such as at the Tenerife zoo.

In this regard, Loro Parque expresses its gratitude to the over a million visitors who have visited its facilities with Thomas Cook over the past 45 years “during which we have not received a single complaint from even one of them regarding the welfare of our animals”.

Thomas Cook argues that its decision is based on scientific evidence but does not provide any, and argues that 90 per cent of its clients are concerned about animal welfare, which does not mean that they have expressed concern about the orcas housed at Loro Parque.

In fact, as Javier Almunia points out, in April 2017 Global Spirit, a company linked to the Born Free Foundation, inspected Loro Parque at the request of Thomas Cook to determine compliance of its facilities and procedures with the animal welfare standards of the British Travel Agents Association (ABTA).

The inspection obtained the highest score (100 per cent compliance), which ensures that not only the orcas, but all the animals in Loro Parque “have the best welfare conditions under the strict regulations” of ABTA, so Thomas Cook’s decision “not only diminishes the value of this inspection, but also goes against ABTA’s animal welfare standards, which are the most stringent in the world”.

At Loro Parque “one hundred percent of our members of staff” are concerned about animal welfare “and we are proud to work every day to give all the animals under our care the greatest love and respect” added the Director of the Loro Parque Foundation.

That’s why Loro Parque has obtained the highest marks, not only from Global Spirit, but also from American Humane, TÜV, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, the Iberian Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the European Association of Aquatic Mammals and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.

Javier Almunia underlines that this is clear proof of excellence in animal care and this is the main reason why Loro Parque has also been awarded the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award as the World’s Best Zoo.

“There’s no doubt that many of the visitors who voted to award this prize to Loro Parque were clients of Thomas Cook” continued the Director of the Foundation, who affirmed that the entity is the most decorated zoo in the world and in Spain has received the highest distinction that any company can receive: the Prince Felipe Award for Business Excellence.

Loro Parque more than meets the most demanding animal welfare standards, which has been certified, as has the handling and care of their orcas, with which it does “exceptional” work.

In fact, Loro Parque Foundation is working with animal welfare experts at the University of Barcelona to develop a framework for measuring this factor “in close detail” in orcas, so that daily or seasonal variations that may occur due to differences in sexual or group behaviour can be measured more accurately.

Javier Almunia also points out that since the Loro Parque Foundation was founded in 1994, it has invested so far more than 19 million dollars in more than 150 conservation projects around the world. As a result, nine species of parrot have been saved from extinction and many others have improved their populations in the wild.

Thomas Cook’s decision “will not change our determination to continue working for the welfare of every animal in this world” and for the conservation of biodiversity on a planet threatened by the ‘sixth extinction’, as has been scientifically proved.

He also believes that, with 700 million visitors to zoos around the world, it’s clear that a visit to the zoo is a highly demanded activity which, in the light of the destruction of our nature and the environment, will become an absolute ‘must’ in the future.

“Fortunately, Loro Parque welcomes more visitors than ever before and even without Thomas Cook’s help, it will continue to offer everyone a unique opportunity to learn about the wonders of wildlife and be part of our mission: to protect and preserve animals and their natural habitats for future generations,” he confirmed.

Loro Parque congratulates Nestlé on its readmission to the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil

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Loro Parque has expressed its satisfaction with the news of the readmission of Nestlé to the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), after the company committed to comply with its regulations to achieve 100 per cent sustainable and certified palm oil by 2023. This step towards environmental conservation underscores the important role zoos like Loro Parque play in promoting a more sustainable world that respects nature and wildlife.

Following this news, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) has announced that it will continue to promote Nestlé, among the 700 million users who visit their members each year, as a brand committed to sustainability. In addition, they reiterated the importance for the Association and all the zoos and aquariums attached to it, of Nestlé working towards achieving 100 per cent sustainable and certified palm oil in all its products.

This commitment will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the environment, as the RSPO ensures that the plantations are managed and certified to ensure that they do not affect biodiversity, and that the production of palm oil – which, as far as consumer health is concerned, is like any other saturated oil – does not harm species that are in a serious state of vulnerability, such as Indonesian orangutans or elephants, by the transformation of their forest habitats into plantations.

Even if consumers are aware of the problem, without information they cannot choose to avoid products containing unsustainable palm oil. This is why, Loro Parque, through the Loro Parque Foundation and as part of its educational work, has been raising awareness of the effects of its use for years, and their support for this request from WAZA represents a further step in its deep commitment to the protection of biodiversity and species such as elephants and orangutans, which are in danger of extinction.

 

Loro Parque celebrates World Oceans’ Day

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The Loro Parque Company has dedicated today, Friday June 8, to the celebration of World Oceans’ Day at its facilities. This year, when the focus of action is on the prevention of plastic pollution and the search for solutions to keep the oceans cleaner and healthier, the Parks have carried out various educational and awareness-raising activities, which have enabled visitors to learn about the impact of the use of plastic in marine waters and to assess the adoption of responsible and sustainable habits.

In Loro Parque, the student finalists of the Sea of Science competition, which ended a few weeks ago in Poema del Mar, enjoyed an educational visit focused on marine exhibitions and were able to see for themselves the marine conservation projects implemented by the Loro Parque Foundation. In addition, the children of the Gabriel Duque Acosta school, who visited the park today, were able to enjoy a workshop dedicated to raising awareness of the marine biodiversity of the Canary Islands and the negative effects that plastic can have on it. In the recently opened aquarium in Gran Canaria, recycling workshops were held and several shark and turtle feeding sessions with expert commentary were also organised.

In a context where the mounting build-up of plastics in the oceans is seriously affecting marine biodiversity, the role of wildlife conservation centres in their protection is particularly important. Thus, through these actions, the Company seeks to make its visitors aware of the environmental problems faced by the oceans and the different species that inhabit them, with special emphasis on the effects of marine debris.

 

Loro Parque’s commitment to the marine environment

The Loro Parque Company has always maintained a strong link with the marine environment, to which the Loro Parque Foundation dedicates enormous efforts via the financing of different research and conservation projects.

One such outstanding venture is the Whale Bay project, which began last March on the island of Boavista, in the only known breeding site for this species in the North Eastern Atlantic, to monitor one of the four most threatened populations of humpback whales in the world. The number of females with calves has risen to 15-16, which is very acceptable given that no newborns were observed at all in 2016. Thanks to Whale Bay, scientific data has been collected to support the declaration of Sal-Rei Bay as a marine protected area for the conservation of humpback whales; a code of conduct or good practice among whale-watching operators and vessels will be promoted and adopted; and national and international biologists will be trained in basic cetacean study techniques.

Another interesting project, recently initiated in Sardina del Norte, Gran Canaria, is one linked to the protection of the angelshark, co-financed by the Loro Parque Foundation and in which the Poema del Mar aquarium collaborates with outreach work. It’s complementary to another one initiated in 2016 for the identification of specimens of angelshark and a subsequent census. The project seeks to contribute to the conservation of this species by means of its continuous monitoring and the establishment of movement patterns, the description of its habitat and public awareness of its existence and the need to protect it.

These two projects are in addition to many others in which Loro Parque Foundation is involved, and which provide a better understanding of the marine environment and the species that inhabit it, resulting in its protection and conservation.

Loro Parque will soon be opening an underwater garden unique worldwide

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A new, unprecedented and internationally important exhibition, which will take the form of a landscape aquarium, opens at the end of May in Loro Parque. This Japanese-style underwater garden is the first of its kind to be built in the world and awakens feelings reminiscent of Atlantis, the famous legendary underwater city. With this never-before-seen commitment, the Loro Parque Company consolidates its dedication to offer its visitors innovative proposals, which are unique in the world and always designed with excellence as a prerequisite.

This innovative underwater exhibition is inspired by Japanese forest landscapes and the majestic mountain ranges of the Asian mountains and has been created using the ‘aquascaping’ technique. Unique in the world for its complexity, innovation and beauty, it will convey depth and balance in the purest Zen style and will captivate fans of flora and fauna alike.

It stands out not only for its complexity, but also for the species used in its creation and for the distribution of the plants and their luxuriance. The latter is a key aspect, as many of them have to adapt to the growth of their leaves in a submerged space, evoking a level of aesthetics cared for to the millimetre, similar to the art of pruning and maintaining a bonsai. Thus, visitors will marvel at the complexity of the flora, totally alive and in all its splendour, as the display design has black-balled any inert element that is simply decorative.

Through this innovative underwater garden, Loro Parque, as a wildlife conservation centre, wants to emphasise the importance of maintaining the balance of the natural environment ecosystems that represent the wonders of nature.

The exhibition will be open to the public from Friday, June 1, after its official opening on Thursday, May 31.

Loro Parque follows closely the growth of two Scarlet Ibis chicks

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Loro Parque has recently celebrated two new births at its sumptuous South American aviaries. On this occasion, two Scarlet Ibis chicks have brought joy to the entire team of the park with their vibrant, reddish feathers.

It is the first time that this species, original of South America, has bred in the park. The entire process has developed naturally which demonstrates that the environment created for them is optimal and that they can express their natural behaviour in the spacious, innovative aviaries, which they share with different other species of the same geographic origin.

The gestation process of the Scarlet Ibis, scientifically known as Eudocimus ruber, lasts 23 days. A chick hatches covered in black down that later develops into reddish feathers. After about a year and a half, the hatchlings obtain scarlet red plumage. The bright colour is an effect that is produced by a special pigment that the birds receive by ingesting small crustaceans, which form their principal source of nutrition.

While they are still hatchlings, they maintain darker feathers and look quite different from the adult specimen. This serves them as a perfect camouflage that protects them from the numerous predators. The visitors of Loro Parque are able to observe how the new hatchlings are evolving, growing and gradually developing the colourful feathers.

This species maintains the “Least Concern” status, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), although their populations in the wild tend to decline. This occurs due to continuous degradation of their natural habitats as a result of adverse human activities, including poaching and creation of artificial water channels. Therefore, the situation requires close monitoring and proactive action.

These innovative installations at Loro Parque accommodate several different species that co-exist harmonically while developing their flying skills and interacting amongst themselves, which represents the best example of the environmental enrichment. Loro Parque recreates this complex environment within the South American Aviaries as an example of its continuous commitment to innovation and conservation of biodiversity, as well as to raising awareness among the public about the importance of protecting the wildlife and their natural habitats.

Loro Parque awards ‘Premio Gorila 2016’ to Versele-Laga

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Last Friday, October 20th, the presidential office of the Canarian Government hosted Loro Parque´s award ceremony ‘Premio Gorila 2016’, during which the company Versele-Laga was awarded with this prestigious recognition. This Belgian corporation is an internationally known manufacturer of high-quality food and care brands for animals and pets. This annual award ceremony took place in its 14th edition and aims at recognizing exceptional performance, environmental responsibility and active implementation of the strategies towards the sustainable use of resources.

This event was hosted in the main Auditorium of the Presidential Office and it was attended by almost three hundred guests. Among those who attended the ceremony were regional, insular and local authorities, as well as civilian, military, consular officials as well as business representatives.

The President of Loro Parque, Wolfgang Kiessling, stressed the importance of the Versele-Laga’s labour, as the company sponsors Loro Parque Fundación in their efforts dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity. Versele-Laga’s principles match exactly with the philosophy of Loro Parque and that is something that is highly important in a world where human population is increasing disproportionately to the amount of the natural resources. As a consequence, the natural habitats of the many wild animals are quickly deteriorating leading to the disappearance of many of these species.

There is more than one reason why Versele-Laga has been awarded with ‘Premio Gorila 2016’, whose representative, Mr. Lode Versele assessed to be ‘really proud to be one of the main sponsors of Loro Parque Fundación’ and told the attendees how ‘Loro Parque’s vision about the conservation of nature was aligned to that of their company. Versele-Laga, which has been collaborating with Loro Parque Fundación for 15 years, considers the labour of scientists and of those who love and dedicate their efforts to nature as key for its preservation. Among many other initiatives, the company has also been supporting foundation financially as a way of contributing to their cause.

 

About Versele-Laga:

The company started with Prudent Versele, a visionary entrepreneur, who started to produce and sell cattle nutrition products on a small scale in 1932. In 1937, less than five years later, in order to meet the demand, he had to build his first cattle feed-producing plant in Deinze, Belgium.

The following years were successful; the factory expanded further and even became one of the most modern and best performing ones of its time. The passionate employees who worked for Versele-Laga soon managed to convince the Versele family to develop mixes for racing pigeons.

They were soon followed by products for other sporting animals and pets such as birds, farm animals, horses and dogs. Since the 70s animals increasingly became part of the family and more and more birds, rodents, dogs and cats were taken into people’s homes.

Versele-Laga follows all the market developments very closely and accompany them with new investments. Thus, they can provide increasingly better answers to the needs of the pets and performance animals.

Loro Parque’s President receives Global Humanitarian Award from American Humane

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Mr. Wolfgang Kiessling, president and founder of Loro Parque and Loro Parque Fundación, received the Global Humanitarian Award from American Humane, the United State’s first national humane organization, in recognition of his lifetime efforts to protect Nature and preserve its biodiversity. The award was given during the nationally televised 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California (United States).

Mr. Kiessling is the first person to receive this recognition, which came after Loro Parque became the first European zoo to be Humane Certified™ by American Humane in May this year. The 13.5-hectare zoo passed a rigorous third-party audit that confirms Loro Parque is in compliance with American Humane Conservation standards, ensuring that the animals in the park enjoy the best conditions in areas such as health, housing, social interactions, adequate environments and proper preparation and protocols to manage medical or operational emergencies.

In this sense, Loro Parque has also been recently acknowledged as the “Best Zoo in the World” by TripAdvisor, an award given based upon thousands of independent reviews from the visitors that want to share their experiences in Loro Parque with other users of this worldwide platform. Furthermore, Loro Parque confirmed its full compliance with the Global Welfare Standards of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) after being inspected by the auditors of Global Spirit and obtaining the highest possible rating of 100%. Among the members of ABTA are leaders in the tourism industry, such as Thomas Cook and TUI UK.

The protection, conservation and educational efforts of Loro Parque cannot be fully grasped without knowing about its research and conservation programs, which have been carried out since 1994 through the Loro Parque Fundación. Thanks to the support of Loro Parque, its partners, visitors, friends and collaborators, more than 17 million dollars have been directly invested for the development of conservation programs both in situ and ex situ.

Loro Parque, Best Zoo in the World According to TripAdvisor

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A prestigious travel portal TripAdvisor has recognized Loro Parque through their annual Travellers’ Choice 2017 as the BEST ZOOLOGICAL PARK IN THE WORLD, an award that is based on the independent evaluations of the users of this worldwide platform.

This award is yet another acknowledgement of Loro Parque’s efforts in the matters of conservation of biodiversity and raising awareness about the protection of the natural habitats of the wildlife on the planet. Having been chosen as the Number 1 Zoo in the World, it is a true recognition to Loro Parque for its commitment to animal welfare and joins the series of several other recent certifications received by the park. Thus, earlier this year Loro Parque received a HumaneCertified certificate from the renowned animal welfare organization American Humane that was conceded to Loro Parque for its humane treatment of the animals, converting it into the first zoo in Europe to have obtained this standard, with the highest rating. Furthermore, Loro Parque confirmed its full compliance with the Global Welfare Standards of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) after being inspected by the auditors of Global Spirit and obtaining the highest possible rating of 100%. Among the members of ABTA are present the leaders of the tourism industry, such as Thomas Cook or TUI UK.

Loro Parque’s recognition by the users of Trip Advisor as the best in the world in animal welfare, considering the role of a modern zoo in the society, could not be fully grasped without the knowledge about its research and conservation program carried out since 1994 through the Loro Parque Fundación. Thanks to the support of Loro Parque, its partners, visitors, friends and collaborators, more than 17 million dollars have been directly invested for the development of conservation programs both in situ and ex situ, following the commitment ‘100% for Nature’.

Among many significant successes, including important achievements in the marine environment, Loro Parque Fundación’s work has made possible the salvation of nine species of parrots from their imminent extinction. This is the case, to give some examples, of the Blue-throated macaw, original of Beni, Bolivia, whose population has increased from 50 to 350 individuals with the project. Another good example that occurred in the same timeline is the evolution of Lear’s Macaw, whose population has increased from 22 to over 1.200 individuals, as well as the Yellow-eared parrot from Colombia, whose numbers have increased to over 4.000 individuals in present days, thanks to the efforts of the project to save the palm tree habituated by these parrots. In 1999, before Loro Parque Fundación started this project, there were only 82 individuals of this species left in the wild.

The results of the coordinated efforts between Loro Parque and Loro Parque Fundación, in their continuous commitment to innovation, are very clearly represented in the newest project KAZA, which is aimed at protecting the cross-border areas of five African countries. The goal is to ensure the conservation of the African lion, a highly endangered species whose numbers have decreased in the last 50 years from 100.000 to less than 25.000 (over 75%). Most recent arrival of three Angola lions to Loro Parque’s Lion’s Kingdom allows them to perform an important role as the ambassadors of their species and help raising awareness about the urgent need to protect the natural habitats, as well as to give the scientists an opportunity to learn and gather more information about their features and needs.

Almost 45 years after Loro Parque first opened its doors, with just 13.000 square metres and 30 employees; the company now obtains the successful results of its entrepreneurial policy that consists in reinvesting all profits into the continuous development and improvement of the park and ensuring the best animal welfare. More than 47 million visitors have visited Loro Parque in all these years, as it stays true to its firm commitment to demonstrate the beauty of the biodiversity in all its installations, paying attention to every detail, nowadays over the area of 135.000 square metres.

Taking into consideration that every year more than 700 millon people visit zoological parks worldwide, Trip Advisor’s recognition demonstrates, once again, that Loro Parque offers an unforgettable experience to its visitors who come from different parts of the world to discover for themselves this authentic Animal Embassy. This Award comes as a reinforcement to the most recent recognition of Siam Park, which was created following the same entrepreneurial policy for continual development, innovation and excellence, as the Best Water Park in the world for the fourth consecutive year.

More information: https://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Attractions-cZoos