Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 25

'The core of our mission is to
use our role to protect species
and their habitats.'
-Jennifer Mickelberg, vice president
of animal collections and conservation, Zoo Atlanta

elephants," Mickelberg says. "When we decided
to expand our elephant habitat, we knew we also
wanted to pair that with a conservation program
that focused on elephants, and our partnership grew
from that."
Conservation also includes strategies that keep
species from becoming extinct. At Zoo Atlanta,
those strategies include managing the animals in
residence so they stay healthy and reintroducing
creatures to their native habitats.
"We're no longer pulling animals from the wild
to put them in zoos; that hasn't happened for years,"
Mickelberg says. "We can keep populations here that
are backup populations in case they're declining
in the wild. We can preserve a species long-term in
zoos, and animals born in zoos can, hopefully in the
future, be released into the wild."
The same knowledge is being applied to golden
lion tamarins, a small primate native to Brazil.
"They live in fragmented landscapes, in groups
that might have from five to 50 animals, not unlike
zoos," Mickelberg says. "We move animals between
institutions to maintain health, and we can do the
same thing with wild populations to help them, too."

Collaborative research
The zoo's staff is invested in researching and
designing projects to avoid extinction and increase
the knowledge of animal biology. Robert Hill,
assistant curator of herpetology, has worked with
Central Florida Zoo's Orianne Center for Indigo
Conservation in Sanford and Auburn University to
raise and release about 80 eastern indigo snakes into
the Conecuh National Forest in southern Alabama,
where they've been absent from the ecosystem for
50 years.
Other zoo staffers have raised diamondback
terrapins for the Georgia Sea Turtle Center's Jekyll
Island Causeway Conservation Program, nurtured
gopher frogs to keep the population numbers up in
Top right: Herpetology team member Trent Niesen introduces diamondback terrapin hatchlings into their new habitat at Zoo Atlanta.
The young turtles will live there until they are big enough to avoid
being targets for predators. Right: Elephants Msholo and Tara explore
Abana Pond, one of the many specially designed features in Zoo
Atlanta's new African Savanna elephant habitat.
www.georgiamagazine.org

25


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Georgia Magazine - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - November 2019

Contents
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 4
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 5
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 6
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 7
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 8
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 9
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 10
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 11
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 12
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 13
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 14
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 15
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 16
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 17
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 18
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 19
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 20
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 21
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 22
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 23
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 24
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 25
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 26
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 27
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 28
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 29
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 30
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 31
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 32
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 33
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 34
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 35
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 36
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 37
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 38
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 39
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 40
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 41
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 42
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Cover4
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