Our Mission: The Greensboro Science Center's conservation mission is to preserve species and habitats through on-site programs, community awareness, field studies and fundraising for local and global conservation efforts.
Our Vision: Conservation and preservation of animals and habitats can only be realized by altering individual habits and behaviors, and by working collaboratively with organizations, academics and governing bodies to better our environment.
Your small change is making a big difference!
Every time you visit the GSC, you are supporting wildlife conservation. Twenty-five cents of each admission ticket is allocated to conservation efforts. Upon entry, you will receive a token that allows you to cast a vote for 1 of 3 conservation projects. See below for current projects.
The grasslands of Brazil's Cerrado support some of the largest populations of Giant anteaters. But with an increase in agricultural development the space is becoming more and more fragmented and divided by networks of roads. Giant anteaters are among the top species killed on these roads posing a serious threat to the population’s viability.
Dr. Arnaud Desbiez is addressing this threat and gathering data on why, when and how anteaters interact with roadways. His study, Anteaters and Highways will assess the impact roads have on the Giant anteater populations in the Cerrado. Through ZCOG we are funding GPS collars for Giant anteaters. By tracking the animals movements we can better understand how they are coming in contact with roads and make decisions as to how to mitigate the interaction.
Mona Island is a beautiful, natural island within Puerto Rico. The 5,000-hectare limestone island is relatively isolated with no human structures and limited visitor access. While it is home to a broad array of rare and endemic plant and animal species a suite of invasive species present on the island are destroying the native species.
A collaboration with Island Conservation, the Puerto Rico department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DENR), and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) work is being done to remove the invasive species.
The Mona Rhino Iguana is an endangered species endemic to the island of Mona. Estimated at around 5,000 individuals the population has dramatically decreased in recent years. Feral cats, pigs and goats are prohibiting the iguana species from surviving. Pigs and goats rummage through nests destroying eggs while feral cats predate the young iguanas. Therefore the existing population is predominately adults and therefore not sustainable.
Trail cameras are in place on the island to better understand the natural behaviors of both the iguanas and the invasive species. The GSC is contributing to the project and reviewing some cameras to assist in the analysis.
Sawfish are one of the most unique and least understood elasmobranch (sharks and rays) in the ocean. The Sawfish Conservation Society works to educate the community about sawfish. They work with fishers, aquarists, researchers and other marine stakeholders to understand and appreciate these rare fish.
Sawfish species inhabit the tropical and sub-tropical waters of the world. They can grow to length of over 23 feet! Over the past century the 2 genera and 5 species are decreasing in numbers because of habitat modification and fishing. All species are listed as endangered or critically endangered. Research is being done to understand the ecology, genetics, life history, physiology, and conservation of sawfishes across the globe. The GSC will provide funds to support the ongoing research to better understand this special species and help to create ways to conserve them.
The GSC protects native wildlife by providing habitats for species in need. All activity from these projects is documented and shared with global conservation organizations to better preserve our backyard wildlife.
The GSC supports the Piedmont Land Conservancy. Property throughout the Piedmont is protected and preserved in its natural state because of the work of the Conservancy. To learn more about Piedmont Land Conservancy and how to get involved, visit https://www.piedmontland.org/.
The GSC supports the Fishing Cat Conservancy, an organization dedicated to the long-term survival of the endangered fishing cat and its globally important mangrove habitat through public education, capacity building, and community-based field research and conservation. You can keep up with what’s getting accomplished by visiting the Fishing Cat Conservancy’s Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/fishingcatconservancy/
Invasive species are problematic around the world, but their effects are magnified on islands. Nearly half of our world’s threatened vertebrates live on islands and are endangered by invasive species. Mona Island, located off the coast of Puerto Rico, is home to the endemic and endangered Mona Rhinoceros iguana. From pine trees dropping needles that prohibit iguanas from building their nests, to feral pigs destroying the nests and habitat, to feral cats predating on the juveniles, this species is in need of protection. The GSC is helping Island Conservation, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service save the species. Volunteers from Center for Conservation and Coastal Ecological Restoration: Vida Marina with Island Conservation staff have removed large amounts of pine needles from nesting habitats to allow the iguanas the opportunity to breed. The GSC has provided motion detecting field cameras for the island to monitor how the iguanas are using their restored habitats. The GSC research department and Island Conservation staff will work together to analyze the cameras’ content. To learn more about the project visit https://www.islandconservation.org/mona-island-puerto-rico/.
North Carolina is home to more than 60 species of freshwater mussels, and half of these are listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern within the state (source: http://ncwildlife.org/Learning/Species/Mollusks). These animals are an important indicator of water quality. Conservation partners throughout the state are working to protect and restore aquatic habitats and mussel populations in our waterways. The GSC houses the Eastern Creekshell mussel. This species is an ambassador for the many others in need of conservation, as mussels are the most imperiled group of animals in the world. In addition to the exhibit, GSC staff are working with the NCWRC to implement a field conservation project to help restore mussels. his project will invite local citizens to become more involved in their watersheds health.
Three bat detectors have been placed in the GSC’s zoo to investigate bat species presence and activity through the forest canopy year-round. The data are being collected as part of a long-term research study of bats in Greensboro and throughout North Carolina.
The Greensboro Science Center is a proud partner of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch® program to help consumers and businesses make ocean-friendly seafood choices.
Humans have depended on food from the oceans for thousands of years. But in recent decades, the health of the ocean has changed and the availability of healthy, sustainable fish is declining. Pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing are placing our oceans’ fishes in trouble. But we can fix this and you can help.
What is Seafood Watch?
The vision of Seafood Watch is to help sustain wild, diverse and healthy ocean ecosystems that will exist long into the future. They encourage consumers and businesses to purchase seafood that is fished or farmed in ways that are sustainable. Seafood Watch uses science-based, peer reviewed methods to assess how fisheries and farmed seafood impact the environment and they provide recommendations indicating which items are ‘Best Choices,’ ‘Good Alternatives,’ and which ones to ‘Avoid.’
What You Can Do?
You can help keep the ocean healthy by picking up a Seafood Watch guide at the GSC and by following Seafood Watch on Facebook and Twitter. You can also download the free Seafood Watch app for up-to-date recommendations on where to find ocean-friendly seafood. With the Project FishMap app, users can share the location of restaurants and markets that carry sustainable seafood in our community.