New Signs, Summer School, Grandparents and a few Animal Moves!

March 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

New Signs! 

Recent visitors to the Edinburgh Zoo or Highland Wildlife Park may have noticed new signs outside each animal enclosure.  These new signs give visitors essential information on the species that they are looking at.  What information to give in this interpretation was decided through asking visitors exactly what they would want to find out from reading the signs at an animal enclosure, the most common information that visitors requested was diet, lifespan, distribution etc. and so this is what has been included in the signs!  

Is it the male or female Darwin's Rhea that incubates the egg? Find out by reading our new signs!

The new signs are colour coded to illustrate which of 5 biomes (grasslands, tropical forests, woodlands, wetlands or mountains and tundra) the animal lives in and they have an area where new information can be inserted to keep our visitors up to date, whether its seasonal changes, information on our individual animals or births. This means that there is always something new for our regular visitors to read!   

This colour sign shows that this animal belongs to the woodland biome

Sealion sign with an insert about our use of MSC sustainable fish!

Our new signage also includes the new IUCN scale which helps to illustrate the conservation status of that species out in the wild.  IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) have created the Red List of species. This is a list of the world’s species and their risk of extinction. Using scientific information on each species’ population size, population decline, distribution and the threats it faces, all the species on the list are classified into different levels of extinction risk.  These range from Least Concern to Extinct.  The new scale that is included on our signs is a standardised way of showing visitors the status of the species that they are looking at.  RZSS are one of the first organisations to use the new IUCN scale and it is on signs at both Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park.  

Biodiversity in Brazil Summer School 2010  

We can also announce that there are still a few places open for Edinburgh Zoo’s Summer School for 6 – 7 and 12 – 14 year olds. Summer School 2010 will be a celebration of the culture and huge diversity of living things found in Brazil.  Places are limited, so sign up now for a great summer experience! The Summer School will take place on the weeks commencing  5th, 12th, 19th and 26th of July 2010 and will run from 9 am to 3.30 pm, Monday to Friday. To find out how to book please visit:

Just one of the fun activities from last year!

Bring a Grandparent!

2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and we have all sorts of activities lined up to highlight the importance of conserving the planets biodiversity!

This Saturday, 20th March is bring a grandparent day where children can come along to the zoo and get their grandparent in for free! Your grandparents may be able to remember what the world was like 40, 50 or 60 years ago and they can tell you all about how things have changed! Humphrey the pretend tortoise will be showing a timeline of the history and achievements of RZSS and the highlights in animal conservation.  You can get involved by helping to decorate our timeline with your memories, pictures, or even when you were born!  We have games, small animal encounters, and talks to name just some of the other activities that you can get involved with between 11:00am and 3:30pm this Saturday, 20th March!

You can find out more about this event at:

Wolverine Move

And of course the blog wouldn’t be complete without a bit of animal news!  On March 8th one of our female wolverines Kirka left the collection as part of EEP (European Endangered Species Breeding Programme) recommendations.  This leaves two wolverines at the zoo, 5 year old male Xale and female Pige (pronounced Pia) also 5 years old.  Pige has been found to be the most compatible with Xale and so it was decided that she would stay to be part of the breeding programme here at the zoo.  As wolverines are a solitary species in the wild they are kept in separate enclosures, Xale and Pige are only put together in the breeding season to mate.

Wolverines have a reputation for being fearless!

Wolverines members of the mustelid family (the same family as otters, badgers, stoats etc.) and are known for being fearless.  They will hunt prey much larger than themselves and also steal prey from much larger predators.  Wolverines are found across the northern hemisphere but they are threatened by fragmentation of their habitat and from persecution by farmers; they may prey on domestic livestock so they are often shot or poisoned. Because of these threats they are classed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.

Other moves from the zoo include three Maned Wolves, one Pudu and one Nyala!


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