The Endangered Species Recovery Program (ESRP) and the Sacramento Zoo think about rabbits and their conservation in California not just during Easter, but year-round. ESRP recently received $16,000 from the Sacramento Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation program to help the Easter Bunny’s cousin and California native, the Riparian Brush Rabbit.
These rabbits are a federally endangered species that occupy small pockets of riparian vegetation (the bank or a river or stream) in the San Joaquin Valley. Only 10 percent of the Central Valley’s habitat for the Riparian Brush Rabbit still exist. One of the many projects of ESRP includes restoring habitats and researching ways to reduce flooding and other threats to Riparian Brush Rabbits.
The Zoo and ESRP have been partners in conservation for many years. In the past, wild Riparian Brush Rabbits have been brought to the Sacramento Zoo for a full veterinary check and fitted with identification transponders so they could be tracked during their travels in the wild. The Sacramento Zoo is also currently home to two Riparian Brush Rabbits; it is the only known zoo in the world to house them.
Not only have ESRP and the Zoo partnered together, but Zoo visitors also take part in helping the Zoo’s conservation partners through the Quarters for Conservation program. Through the collection of quarters, the Zoo provides funding for wildlife conservation projects. As guests enter the Zoo, they receive a token representing their contribution to conservation. The token enables guests to vote for one of three conservation projects that have been selected for the year. Each of the three programs is guaranteed $5,000 annually with additional funding based on the number of votes each project receives. ESRP was one of the three 2013 Quarters for Conservation recipients.
The Sacramento Zoo supports more than two dozen conservation programs in the United States and 16 countries around the world. In 2013, the Zoo was able to provide more than $100,000 to field conservation programs, including ESRP, helping to make a global impact.
Next time you are at the Zoo, remember to cast your vote for conservation and stop by the Zoo’s Backyard to see the Zoo’s rabbit residents.
For more information, visit the Riparian Brush Rabbit Recovery program’s website.
|Photo credit: ESRP|