Conservation at the Utica Zoo

 

Nestled at the edge of beautiful Roscoe-Conkling Park, we strive to set an example for conservation and environmental stewardship in the surrounding area. Our long standing mission has been to “foster public understanding and appreciation of wildlife species and their ecosystems through education, conservation and recreation” At a time when zoos are playing an increasing role in habitat preservation and species survival, we recognize the significance of any conservation effort no matter the scope, and are proud to participate in a number of local and national projects.

Ex-situ conservation is the process of protecting an endangered species of plant or animal outside of its natural habitat.  SSP, or Species Survival Plan, programs are designed by AZA to manage captive populations of threatened and endangered species within North American zoos and aquariums, and are one of the primary ways that the global zoo community is working to combat extinction.  In some instances, this may mean the zoo is asked to breed a species to help increase their numbers.  In others, this means simply providing homes to animals that are not in a breeding program or are otherwise not able to be released into the wild due to injury or human intervention.  Some species in these programs have been successfully reintroduced into their native habitat.

The Utica Zoo has always been an enthusiastic partner in these programs, and we currently have several SSP animals, including red panda, ring-tailed lemurs, white-naped crane, Mexican wolves, Chinese alligators, California sea lions, white-handed gibbons, Mexican spider monkeys, golden lion tamarins, cotton top tamarins, and prehensile-tailed skinks.

Learn more about SSPs

In-situ conservation is the process of protecting an endangered species in its natural habitat.  For a zoo of our size, it can be difficult to commit significant monetary resources to these types of projects, but with the help of  our recycling and candy machine programs, we are able to provide small grants to select organizations that are on the ground in range countries. In the past we have contributed to such organizations as the Peregrine Fund and Snow Leopard Trust.  We have also provided staff assistance to programs such as monitoring and numbering of the Chittenango Ovate Amber Snail, a species believed to be endangered in a small area of upstate NY; as well as field studies of turtle populations in the Utica Marsh ecosystem.  We will continue to add to our program participation through funding and staff participation in in-situ research.

Recycling & Composting

Here at the zoo, we believe that even small steps can influence big changes. From using energy efficient light bulbs to collecting rainwater for watering plants, it all makes a difference! With that in mind, we have several different recycling and composting stations throughout the zoo that guests are free to use. We also have a recycling drop box outside of the entrance that can be used when the zoo is closed.

We have partnered with Empties4Cash and The Funding Factory to launch a recycling program for ink cartridges and cell phones. Both of these items can generate a huge amount of waste, some of which is potentially toxic, when disposed of in landfills. All makes and models are accepted for recycling and all of the proceeds generated from these programs will be used towards conservation projects here at the zoo. Look for the containers in the gift shop, and turn them in at the zoo instead of tossing them in the trash!

Zoo Newz Stay up to date on all things ZOO with the quarterly Zoo Newz.

Enrichment Besides the day to day cleaning and feeding of the animals, the animal keepers are also responsible for Environmental Enrichment and Training. NWPTAG

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Hours and Admisson

April 1 to October 31: Open 10AM until 4:45 PM
November 1 to March 31: Open 10AM, admission/gift shop closes at 3PM & Zoo gates close at 4PM

Admission 4/1- 10/31 11/1- 3/31 & Group
Child 3-12 $4.75 $2.50
Adult 13-61 $7.75 $4.25
Senior 62+, Military, College w/ ID $6.75 $3.50

Zoo Blog

  • DHMexicanWolf16x20
    Wolf Awareness Week 10/12 to 10/18
    October 14, 2014

    It’s Wolf Awareness Week at the Utica Zoo. Although they are essential to the health of the ecosystem and keeping herbivore populations in check, wolves have been the subject of intense persecution throughout the centuries, and most species are either threatened or endangered due to myths and misunderstandings. Less than 100 individuals currently live in the wild. Mexican wolves are the most endangered gray wolf subspecies in North America, and our three females; Bella, Sierra and Aztec, are among the last of their kind. After becoming extinct in the wild during the mid-1900s, Mexican wolves are finally making a small comeback in Arizona and New Mexico, but there is still a long way to go. The Utica Zoo has been Read More

  • ming yue
    New Female Red Panda – Ming Yue
    October 10, 2014

    The Utica Zoo introduced a new female Red Panda today. Her name is Ming Yue. She will join the male Red Panda Muse in the same exhibit.

Upcoming Events

Nov
7
Fri
10:30 AM Stroller Safari – North American...
Stroller Safari – North American...
Nov 7 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Stroller Safari - North American Trek
Load up your stroller and join the newest zoo adventure for your toddler or infant! Each safari includes an interactive stroller tour and an up close animal encounter. The cost is $5.00 per child for members and $10.00 per child for nonmembers. The class meets outside the auditorium at 10:30am.  
Nov
13
Thu
10:30 AM Homeschool Program – Digging for...
Homeschool Program – Digging for...
Nov 13 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Homeschool Program - Digging for Dinosaurs
Is your child a budding zoologist? Our interactive classes help to further homeschool studies through group activities and animal interactions. The cost is $5.00 per child for members and $10.00 per child for non-members. The class meets in the auditorium at 10:30am.
Nov
19
Wed
10:30 AM Zoo Adventures – Happy Hibernators
Zoo Adventures – Happy Hibernators
Nov 19 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Zoo Adventures - Happy Hibernators
Join our monthly preschool program as we explore the world of animals through storybooks! Each session includes a story, animal meet and greet, snack, and activity. The cost is $5.00 per child for members and $10.00 per child for non-members. The class meets in the auditorium at 10:30am and lasts approximately an hour.
Nov
20
Thu
10:30 AM Zoo Adventures – Happy Hibernators
Zoo Adventures – Happy Hibernators
Nov 20 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Zoo Adventures - Happy Hibernators
Join our monthly preschool program as we explore the world of animals through storybooks! Each session includes a story, animal meet and greet, snack, and activity. The cost is $5.00 per child for members and $10.00 per child for non-members. The class meets in the auditorium at 10:30am and lasts approximately an hour.

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