Blair Drummond Safari Park recognised at national awards ceremony
We are delighted to have been presented with three silver awards at this year's BIAZA (British & Irish Association of Zoos & Aquariums) awards ceremony.
The BIAZA awards provide an opportunity for the UK's top zoo and aquariums to be commended for projects which demonstrate best practice and excellence.
Best exhibit – Barbary Macaque reserve – silver award
Blair Drummond's Barbary Macaque exhibit opened in 2015 and became home to the “Middle Hill troop”, a group of macaques which were rehoused from Gibraltar, where their population was causing nuisance in the town.
Craig Holmes, Head of Macaques comments:
“Our Barbary Macaque reserve is left to grow naturally with no interference. This enables our troop to behave naturally, foraging and finding wild growing foliage for themselves. The reserve is also a haven for native species. Various birds, amphibians and insects (including different bee species) are all breeding in the enclosure.
Studies have also shown that the Barbary Macaques at Blair Drummond are mimicking studies of wild Barbary macaques in Morocco. This illustrates how well the team are doing with them in their captive environment. Myself and the macaque team are very proud to receive this award.”
Barbary Macaques are listed as Endangered to extinction on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.
Conservation – Bulindi Chimpanzee & Community Project – silver award
Blair Drummond Safari Park's Link the Wild initiative supports conservation projects around the world, including the Bulindi Chimpanzee and Community Project which promotes the conservation of natural chimpanzee habitat in Africa. Visitors to Blair Drummond Safari Park donated £34,000 towards conservation charities such as the Bulindi Project in 2017 and this money has helped regenerate natural forest and has contributed to an increase in the wild chimpanzee population.
Alasdair Gillies, Head of Chimpanzees at Blair Drummond comments:
“I am both thrilled and honoured on behalf of the Bulindi Chimpanzee & Community Project to have received this award. The BCCP is a fantastic model of how conservation can bring positive and lasting improvement to what could so easily have been disastrous for the local ecosystem.”
Photography - Wildlife & Conservation – silver award
This award was won by Blair Drummond Safari Park Operations Supervisor Dave Warren for his photograph of a Goshawk. Goshawks are an elusive species of raptor found in Scotland and difficult to track using normal visual observation. Support from Blair Drummond Safari Park has paid for bird-tracking systems which allowed themovements of these birds to be monitored and has provided information which will support the conservation of their natural population.
Dave Warren comments:
“I was very fortunate to take the shot, applying skills and being part of such a pioneering and innovative research conservation project in Scotland. I am glad people like the image – a lot of good work has gone into making it happen.”