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. Projects currently include:
Organization: National Fish & Wildlife Foundation - Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund
The monarch butterfly is one of the most iconic butterfly species in North America. Monarchs are known for their remarkable 3,000-mile annual migrations to parts of Southern California and Mexico, where they hibernate over winter. They awaken in the spring, mate and then travel north to lay eggs. Eggs are laid strategically on milkweed plants so that upon hatching, the larval caterpillars can forage on the leaves.
Over the last 20 years, the Monarch butterfly population has declined by 80%. This is primarily the result of habitat loss at breeding and overwintering sites. Additionally, a decline in available milkweed has negatively impacted the species population. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has established the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund to protect, conserve and increase habitat for the species. The organization focuses on increasing both the quality and quantity of available habitat in a connected patchwork of milkweed gardens across the butterflies’ territory in order to support their life cycle. NFWF is also increasing their educational outreach, coordinating with other organizations and growing the capacity for funding, planning and distribution of information.
Learn more: nfwf.org/monarch
Organization: Centre ValBio
Lemurs are found exclusively on the island of Madagascar. There are many species of lemur, and each occupies a unique niche on the island. Some species’ habitat occupies large tracts of land while others have very small habitat ranges. In order to preserve the diverse array of lemur species, conservationists are working with locals to protect all habitats where lemurs live.
Founded by Dr. Patricia Wright, Centre ValBio’s mission is to help people understand the value of conservation in Madagascar. Lemurs are a cause Dr. Wright has dedicated her life to, evident in her work at the Duke Lemur Center as well as in her position at Stony Brook University. The research station in the Centre ValBio park hosts scientists from around the world, whose aim is to understand the land and educate the locals so that, together, they can improve both the economic and the environmental sustainability of Madagascar
Learn more: stonybrook.edu
Organization: Project Seahorse
With the charismatic seahorse as its flagship species, Project Seahorse works to protect seahorse habitat all over the globe. Through research, conservation education and advocacy, the Project Seahorse team has made great strides with influencing policy and increasing awareness about global seahorse decline.
Seahorses are heavily impacted by trawling, a process of digging up the seabed to catch animals. Trawling destroys delicate habitats such as mangroves, estuaries, coral reefs and seagrass beds.
Citizen scientists can also get involved in the project using iseahorse, a mobile app which is accessible to everyone from divers to snorkelers, fishermen to seahorse enthusiasts. Via iseahorse, wild seahorse observations can be documented and then shared with the scientists who can identify them. In this way, citizen scientists are helping science professionals to create a distribution map identifying the locations as well as the various species and how they are distributed around the world. The data collected through the app also helps scientists to identify areas with habitat loss issues so that others can jump in and help. This is but one starting point for seahorse advocacy and conservation.
Learn more: projectseahorse.org
The GSC is home to 7 bluebird houses that are maintained and monitored for activity and tracked in a national database. Many of the houses are inhabited each year, however, nearly half of the houses are claimed by Carolina chickadees. All inhabitants and their nesting activity are recorded on nestwatch.org. NestWatch’s monitoring program helps scientists understand bird population nesting over time. It assists in understanding how influences such as climate change, habitat degradation and urban expansion impact species.
The GSC is home to three honey bee hives and three butterfly gardens located throughout the zoo. The hives are maintained by the GSC’s volunteer bee keeper, Linda Walbridge and GSC horticulture team led by lead horticulturist, Chandra Metheny. The horticulture staff also maintain the gardens which receive natural pest control and water from rain collecting barrels. Honey bees and monarch butterflies are two pollinators that have seen decline in the past 50 years and by informing the public and providing food and housing for these species the GSC is doing its part to help save these unique and crucial species.
The local T Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society donated two brown-headed nuthatch houses to the GSC in 2015. These houses are located in the zoo, tucked in the woods out of sight of visitor viewing. GSC staff monitors the activity of the houses and any inhabitants and their nesting activities are reported to the Audubon Society. By tracking nest utilization and clutches we can start to understand how we can work together to provide habitats for this species.
Resource: Make A Little Room for the Brown-headed Nuthatch by NC Audubon Society
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.