Institute News

International Effort Completes Successful Reintroductions after Bushfire Rescue

San Diego Zoo Global researchers studying the effects of climate change on polar bears are using innovative technologies to understand why polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea are showing divergent movement patterns in the summer. In recent decades, about a quarter of this population of bears have chosen to come on land instead of staying on the shrinking summer sea ice platform. Historically, the polar bears in this region remained on the ice year-round.

Findings Reveal Broad Interest in Deceased, Even in Unrelated Elephants

Stories of unique and sentient interactions between elephants and their dead are a familiar part of the species’ lore, but a comprehensive study of these interactions has been lacking—until now. A recent review of documented field observations of elephants at carcasses reveals patterns of elephants’ behavior toward their dead, regardless of the strength of former relationships with the deceased individual.

San Diego Zoo Global scientists are celebrating a major conservation milestone for the organization’s Burrowing Owl Recovery Program. One of two burrowing owls released into their native range have successfully reproduced—and they have produced the program’s first chicks to be hatched in the wild. The mother owl, known as “Blue X,” hatched at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Bird Breeding Complex (BBC) in 2018. The father owl, known as “B06,” is the offspring of birds that were translocated from Otay Mesa, CA.

Study Cites Elephant Reintroduction Programs as a Model for Wildlife Releases

Three orphaned elephant calves from Reteti Elephant Sanctuary have been successfully translocated to a holding area in Sera Wildlife Conservancy, in Kenya’s Samburu County—the first such rewilding initiative for a community-managed wildlife facility. The calves are doing well in what experts call a “soft release,” as close monitoring continues ahead of the final release.

Bringing a Native Forest & Its Native Songs Back to the Forest

San Diego Zoo Global Researchers Help Rear and Release Aga on Rota

For more than 2 million years, the native forests on the islands of Guam and Rota were home to several thousand crows of a species found nowhere else on Earth. But over the last 60 years, the Mariana crow—called the aga, in the Chamorro language—has completely disappeared from the island of Guam and rapidly declined on neighboring Rota. Today, there are only about 175 Aga left on the planet.

Continued Efforts to Reintroduce Rare Crow Species to Native Forests of Hawai’i Island

After years of conservation work that included painstakingly tracking, breeding and releasing almost 100 endangered Pacific pocket mice, researchers from San Diego Zoo Global have discovered that mice reintroduced into Orange County, California’s Laguna Coast Wilderness Park have begun to breed on their own.