ASAP Species That We Work On

What We Do

ZSLs work on ASAP species is wide-ranging, from maintaining individuals in ex-situ collections as part of regional and/or globally managed breeding programmes, to undertaking conservation research and applied conservation on the ground in countries across Asia. The following are some examples:

Habitat protection: Through our site-specific protected area management and law enforcement efforts with in-country partners, ZSL works holistically to conserve a wide variety of ASAP species. We also undertake habitat-focused research, such as that on the impact of logging and agriculture on ASAP (and other) species, as well as the persistence these species in fragmented landscapes. In South and Southeast Asia alone we are based in over fifteen sites across more than five countries.

Black-spotted cuscus: Local ecological knowledge data is being gathered on status, population trends and local extinction.

Gibbons: ZSL is in the process of developing collaborations and finalising next steps for work on ASAP gibbon species; this has grown from existing gibbon efforts in China. In addition, a gibbon conservation skills training workshop is being planned with partners in China that seeks to build in-country capacity for all species. PhD projects are planned that will specifically investigate conservation issues around several ASAP species.

Long beaked echidnas (LBEs): LBEs have been identified as a focal species for long-term conservation attention by ZSLs EDGE of Existence programme, and have been selected as EDGE's flagship animal. In May 2007 a ZSL expedition to the Cyclops Mountains resulted in the rediscovery of Attenborough's LBE. We are working to establish a long-term LBE conservation monitoring programme at a series of sites across Papua (Indonesian New Guinea).

Pangolins: ZSL is the institutional host, and co-chair, of the IUCN Pangolin SG. As such, we undertake pangolin projects and research in numerous locations; Nepal, Thailand and China are focal countries for the critically endangered Chinese and Sunda species. Working with national collaborators, ZSL is looking to secure the recovery of wild populations through increased understanding of species ecology and trade, strengthened governance, co-ordinated law enforcement and community stewardship. Additionally, ZSL is seeking to counter wildlife trafficking from pangolin range states in Africa and Asia to China, by building the evidence base for a behaviour change strategy to reduce consumer demand for pangolin in targeted locations.

Saola: As a member of the saola working group for the IUCN Asian Wild Cattle SG, ZSL is undertaking work that includes using interview data to assess local survival of the species.


ZSL holds several ASAP species within its collection, including the Annam leaf turtle and Philippine crocodile. Animal enclosures are used to raise awareness of threats to the species including illegal wildlife trade.
Gharials: With partners, we are seeking to establish the current population status of the species and threats facing this population in Nepal. Additionally we are seeking to build ex-situ conservation capacity by reviewing and strengthening of existing management and husbandry practices and providing recommendations to improve the conservation breeding protocols for this species in Nepal. ZSL also plans to undertake research into sustainability of by-catch, and local ecological knowledge on distribution, population trends and threats.
Philippine crocodile: ZSL maintains this species as part of a managed species breeding programme and financially supports an in-country NGO on in-situ conservation of the species.

Turtles: ZSL has provided financial support to the Asian Turtle Programme {ATP)/Turtle conservation centre at Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam to improve security of Annam leaf turtles, as they are a highly valuable commodity, and improve husbandry of EDGE-listed big­headed turtles. The Society is also working with the ATP to develop a proposal for
trans locations of some of the captive stock at this centre. The Society has funded the development of improved big-headed turtle facilities in Hoang Lien National Park, and delivered a workshop on turtle and amphibian husbandry and research at Hoang Lien National Park in 2015.
ZSL holds numerous ASAP species in its collection including Baer's pochard, Bali starling, Edwards's pheasant, of which many are part of formal breeding programmes. The Society also provides financial and technical support to the in-situ conservation of several species via in­country NGOs such as VietNature.
Bali starling: This species is bred at ZSL; chicks have been returned to Bali in collaboration with the European Endangered Species Programme for conservation breeding in-country. This is a focal species for EAZA's Asian Songbird campaign and for the Threatened Asian Songbird Alliance (EAZA passerine Taxon Advisory Group {TAG) sub-committee). ZSL sits on the committee for both TASA and EAZA campaign. The Society also funds conservation breeding of this species as well as others (e.g. black-winged starling, Javan green magpie) at the Cikananga Conservation Breeding Centre in Java, Indonesia.
Edwards's pheasant: ZSL holds two breeding pairs. The Society also sits on the Edwards's pheasant working group, which was set up by EAZA Galliformes TAG and the World Pheasant Association to work with VietNature to deliver priority action of the Conservation Action Plan to return EP back to Vietnam and reintroduce the species back into the wild.
Spoon-billed sandpiper: ZSL advises conservation breeding project at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
White-rumped vulture: ZSL financial and technically supports the conservation breeding and protection of vultures in India and Nepal, including through the provision of wildlife health expertise. ZSL chairs EAZA's falconiformes TAG and was instrumental in raising awareness and lobbying against use of diclofenac.


Where We Work

ZSL undertakes research and applied conservation in countries across Asia. Specifically in South and Southeast Asia, we have projects and programmes in locations including India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and SW China (Yunnan and Guangdong provinces).

Contact Details

London NW1 4RY, UK

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