While wandering through the beautiful Alameda Gardens, there should be no doubt in your mind to pay a visit to the amazingly constructed Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park. Home to an incredible collection of both exotic and native species, the AWCP will literally blow you away with an unexpected surprise of wonder and allurement, as you peruse animals such as the Cotton-topped Tamarin, Brown Lemurs, Ring-Tailed Lemurs, Asian Short-Clawed Otters, and many other marvelous creatures that have been rescued from illegal animal trade by Gibraltar customs.
The Alameda Wildlife Park first came to existence in 1994. Local Customs authorities confiscated a collection of parrots, land tortoises and monkeys from illegal traders who were passing through Gibraltar. The animals were handed over to G.O.N.H.S., (Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society).
With no enclosures to house the animals, the G.O.N.H.S. along with volunteers and the permission of Wildlife (Gibraltar) Ltd, built a number of cages at the Alameda Gardens. With the growing number of confiscated animals and lack of space to house them all, it was decided that the old neglected Alameda Miniature Golf course would be converted into a small conservation park. All of this was amazingly achieved solely trough the help of volunteers.
After some time it was noted that if constructed properly, the Wildlife Conservation Park could be utilised not only as a home to confiscated animals, but also as a means to educate the public about local wildlife conservation.
The AWCP take part in European and international breeding programmes that help protect endangered species, also raising awareness of important conservation issues and biodiversity both locally and globally. Through education they seek to inspire people, young and old, to care about the natural world and instill a lifelong passion for conservation.
A plan was put in place, and in 2013, after extensive renovation to create immersive, natural rock work habitats and exhibits for it’s animal inhabitants, the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park was opened to the public.
All this was made possible by very generous funding from the Parasol Foundation (formally the Bonita Trust) and Gibraltar Government.
The AWCP today is immaculate, the staff are incredibly helpful and friendly, and thanks to the help of volunteers and sponsors, the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park is giving these animals a full and interesting life, as well as helping our local wildlife.
The AWCP has also become an important educational resource for local schools, helping to raise awareness of not only the rich local biodiversity but also of wider conservation issues.
Future projects include a Local Biodiversity Education Area, quarantine area and Indigenous species exhibit.
For more information please visit the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park website at: www.awcp.gi
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