Sunday, May 1st

San Diego Zoo Global Director of Conservation Education, Maggie Reinbold


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning and welcome to another edition of living better and San Diego public service presentation of the and it comes San Diego radio stations and Gary late. San Diego Zoo global is a nonprofit organization leading the fight against extinction. There mission is to save species both plants and wildlife worldwide. To that end they are striving to be at the forefront of wildlife conservation and education. Joining us this morning to talk about what they're doing on the conservation front here in San Diego Southern California and the world. And talk about the San Diego zoo's 100 birthday celebration. Is San Diego Zoo global director of conservation education Maggie rivals. Welcome Maggie. I Gary nice to have you lie on the show nice to meet US needs to tell us a little bit about to San Diego. Zoo global now I'm not mistaken your nonprofit and it is the nonprofit San Diego Zoo global that actually operates the zoo. And safari park that's actually right yes we actually have to world renowned sanctuaries San Diego zoo and the standing is you safari park. As well as the largest zoo based research team in the world the San Diego Zoo institute for conservation research right where a lot of people are not aware of the fact that. That it is a nonprofit that actually runs the zoo's safari park in and I'm one of those people absolutely no that's what they met if people don't know that we definitely want them to know that. Everything that comes to any as a global we actually and then reinvest I am in the sanctuaries and in our country should work across the globe and here in Southern California yeah I think a lot of people think it's a big corporation that runs that runs this dune safari park. No actually nonprofit and we've been around for a hundred years this year which were really excited about offs and we will talk about the hundredth. A birthday celebration later on in in the show but first of all you are the director of conservation. Education now that. Overseas is to answer for a par so no it doesn't and that actually oversees our country's education division which at the research arm of any isn't global and so we work with communities here and communities all across the globe. Human communities nom for the betterment of betterment of wildlife. So it's a little what is your job details so I I kind of split my time in between medical in house programs were I have students and teachers from Oliver Southern California come and visit our apple servers service research lab. We also have a master's program called advance inquiry program that I oversee. Also my other half and my team is working with human communities in places like Kenya and Peru and Baja California Mexico. Working with communities to come generates solutions to wildly human conflict issues and how long you've been with the San Diego Zoo global so I started almost eleven years ago actually as a graduate student at proud Aztec I was a grad student ST SU and started at the zoo in the genetics division at the research Amazon you. And then now here and ten years later at director one of our research divisions conservation education and what drew you to zoo. Well I mean I've known for a long time that that he was dedicated to conservation and it is very well known conservation organization and I'm dedicated to. Letting people know exactly how we're trying to save species here and abroad with science on and with and human communities so let's talk about. Conservation couldn't. You just kicked off if I'm not mistaken it has already kicked off a new fundraising campaign in and go on the largest fundraising campaigns in the zoo's history right absolutely he largest yes and it's the roaring forward campaign tells about that. And that's a very very exciting campaign on basically you know as we celebrate our hundred years our history of taking care of plants and animals Ater sanctuaries and around the world. That's on the really to celebrate and the right Ford campaign is going to allow us to actually plan for the next hundred years of that incredible conservation work and expand it. It is our most ambitious campaign ever so. What we're aiming to do is by the end of 2017 where you are aiming to raise 400 million dollars and actually we are almost 75% of the way we actually raised just about 300 million towards that goal. Thanks to all of our supporters our members our partners are collaborators and it's just incredible and we're super excited to reach apple by the end of next year. So nearly 300 million already and how long as the campaigns and running just a couple of years had a solid year legal for a couple years Yemeni and then well animal and up at the end of my seventeen. Another hundred million. Should these problems well 300 and we're working hard working hard towards it but. Luckily I think our conservation work and our work to care plans an animal's mom on grounds or sanctuaries and speaks for itself but. Maybe not have been wearing here and speaking about it it's mentioned everybody knows we'll wrap to and and why we do you. Oh great so let's talk about. Some conservation efforts. And I you're conservation efforts to deal with plants. And animals in different animal species so let's let's talk about some of the plants that. That you working absolutely working with right now. So some people probably know this but we actually have one of the most critically endangered ecosystems and all of the United States right here on our own backyard on NASA. An ecosystem called coastal sage scrub. And so we actually have in the tenth as well valley where the sandy disease at our park is located we actually have some really large swathes of that critically endangered ecosystem. It used to span quite quite a distance along that on the coastline here now about 95% of it has been destroyed. We actually still have a lot of fat ecosystem. Two to protect and sow or actually restoring that ecosystem and a cent as well valley. After of course some really detrimental fires and wildfires that came through that your listeners will remember in 2003 and also 2007. Right. So we're way out actively working in the valley there among other places on to restore that critically endangered habitat. And were even doing that to support local species so one of the species that we're supporting as a species of special concern called coastal cactus ran. It's an adorable bird really really interesting bird that only makes it's nasty in cactus and has to be a cactus and that's at least three feet tall. And as many of your listeners without you know it it takes a long time ago cactus you know after those wildfires came through and really melted and burn down a lot of cactus that was in the valley parents and pass on Escondido. We've been having to use some really innovative kind of experimental design measures to figure out how do you regroup that habitat and and that critically that critical nesting habitat. Quickly and effectively to support those breeding pairs of the coast of practice round and really hit it fat. And we share what we fine with all sorts of governmental and nongovernmental partners across the southwest so that they can also restore other and areas well. So there's a lot of science involved in this that absolutely tech again I don't think people think. No I don't that's how it's going to probably not and so they instituted in the research arm of the San Diego Zoo we kind of consider ourselves the science of saving species so we absolutely are using the best science available to. Recover or on to save the species of plants animals and also there have a fact. Again here as well as and other countries actually have more than a hundred conservation projects and more than 35 countries around the world. But also a very large concentration here and the southwest so as some people might say wise is so important. Did you see the plant. So you know a lot about functioning ecosystems functioning ecosystems to a lot for us and humans and there are a number of different process even functions that they support when their healthy. On an individual species individual animal individual plants can also play important ecological roles on so we are all about saving species at one species at a time. And in some cases on habitat at a time. And so there are a lot of actual benefits that people can get them to seeing species. So let other plants are you working with as far as you conservation efforts shirt so we actually have a really really large. Collection of seats it native seeds from native plants or. And our native plant seed bank which is kind of like equivalent of our frozen zoo but for plants kind of on the frozen garden. We have hundreds of different species of native Southern California plants. That we actually can and we can keep storage and then used for restoring habitats. One really interesting species were working with right now not only in the seed bank but also having what's on the field bank or a little seedlings is that the copy Cyprus. So the two hockey Cyprus is a tree species. That really only exists here in Southern California and parts of northern Baja California. Really beautiful. Species. On that also and helps the integrity of those ecosystems. And so were trying to grow up those seeds and those seedlings sometimes in the field so we actually have a bank in the field. As well as that kind of dress soaring price towards seed and we can news. For the feature them as mean as we move into different era of conservation in our region. And you work with the seed implants and ecosystems. Not just here in Southern California that you are global absolutely. Where where else you do work so we're doing we're all over the planet cleaner and I'm in China where in that giant pandas in the field we worked on a couple different islands in Hawaii working with native Hawaiian forest birds that are critically endangered. We work right down here to the south of us and Mexico with California Condo our Baja California. We have just and number projects are on pretty rock iguanas across them different island chains and the Caribbean. And lots and lots of different faces a weary and we have our staff and our partners in the field working to save species. One species at a time. Let's talk bass on the animals then then. There arson is mentioned here and in Southern California absolutely. What are those again at that you're working with who also there are a number of different ones from the burrowing owl to the California condor or vote ones that I think is particularly charismatic is the Pacific pocket mouse so this is one of the smallest residents in North America that's kind of like even if you're gonna be about the size your thumb ring Sony I saw a picture of them on your website where I hated seeing adorable but they. They're adorable and they're really they're really critically endangered they're really only three little tiny population left on in Southern California 'cause. And they said before on the coastal sage scrub habitat they kind of exist and that kind of coastal region and of course humans love that coastal regions well. So we're trying to on figure out what the best places to kind of put that their populations where we're actually breeding them out of breeding facility right next to the sending his safari park. And figuring out everything that they might need in order to be successful back in the wild. And where rearing them up with a bunch of these little guys and you can imagine if there full ground my they're really tiniest little pops. And we're going nose up for eventual release back into the habitat. And even fashion these little kind of like little backpack transmitters so that we can actually. Monitor their success once they're back in the wild and not let him down forget about them. We can actually use read it's lemon tree to track them down and you learn that everything yet doing fine path which is pretty amazing to think of a backpack on a site that rodent that's about the segment. Right and I guess that's so that the had a picture of Emma and north lawn and move on your website that he can read more about actually that species about it's cloudy Cyprus about that crystal cactus ran. On our website at institute that sandy has he dot org and there are a lot of animals that you have listed there that I'm sure most people have never heard of them like the pocket now check. But that's been so so what other animals. I'm so we also have a great project with burrowing owls and other really charismatic species that you know like the maybe share kind of some of the same habitats that people enjoy. So we've got a great project to figure out what exactly did they need to bumped up the only survive an habitat so that we can make room for salmon and spaces that are appropriate and that we even it's kind of innovative got lots of projects were kind of have to think outside the box and one thing we know that they need their name as the burrowing how well actually need boroughs and in order to you know raise their young and actually did have sheltered in the day and other different reasons and ousted editors. So instead of building artificial burrows in and making them these Burroughs we actually turn to another excellent residents in these communities to do that for us and to do for Al's and that's the property groundswell. We actually used around the world today boroughs like they do anyway I can't really get bigger than anybody has a beautiful backyard or along with an incentive and so they can actually dig those natural Burroughs that an burrowing owls in the areas that were trying to repopulates they can go and uses Rosen has successfully masts and and and do their thing. Most critical yes it's. Now I think I read somewhere that and San Diego Zoo global scientists and researchers are witnessing wildlife disappearing from native habitats and an unprecedented rate. Why is that. While there are lots of different reasons of of course and it's not something that's just started to happen last few years but. We have seen on things like habitat destruction of course not just here in Southern California but all over the planet. We see on problems with pollution problems of climate change there are lots of different things that are happening around the planet that. Do you have detrimental effect on other species so of course we're trying to figure out and using science one of the best ways to conserve the species again both plants and animals. And we don't on the neglect the human populations in those areas my group one of the the special thing that they do is they actually go on partner with community members. Where we have active conservation projects around the world and bring amendments that conservation program and actually in most cases passed those countries programs on to the community. And that they can take those Oregon in perpetuity which is really exciting. 11 AM another another aspect of your roaring Ford campaign. Isn't it also to work towards ending extinction absolutely so that vision of Andy is doable is to lead the fight against extinction and it's very very bold vision but one week. Believe and madly in deep Lisa in one of the reasons latch isn't it dedicate my accurate and is available is because we do choose those lofty goals. It's not impossible everything we do every single day whether it's on around our sanctuary and learning more about the plants and animals and care. I'm and then applying those those pieces of information and as interesting discoveries to their wild counterparts back in and places all of the globe. A everything that we're doing is to fight extinction. Not only what we're doing directly with plants and animals here and abroad but also again engaging students and teachers and members of the community. Here and global communities on engaging them in the fight against extinction and powering them whiff. A new experiences and new knowledge. And and then also helping them to become critical thinkers so that they can make. Better choices and part of the money and it's this race through the growing forward campaign is going to help educate. Students here at risk students to write. Absolutely so on not only on grounds of the city to say is do antennae disease safari park but even in my lab which is a full service research lab that's at the research arm is in which is headquartered just next to the safari park. I'm all three of our efforts on all treaties education departments are working. With students with teachers here in San Diego county and number of them at an underserved schools. So that we can and gays and again with these world class experience is to get them to start thinking about. What kinds of science and what kinds of decisions do we need to make to to help perpetuate these species so that we can. You know have them not only for these young people coming up now but eventually if they wanna think down the road to their own on children to their own grandchildren in my grandchildren and great grandchildren. I absolutely want them to think critically about what's happening around them and be able to make informed choices what kind of response yet from the kids. A man they this is the thing you know if you if I can animate it I'm gonna teach you some science and technology and engineering and math and get ready if they might add if excited but I think. I'm gonna talking today about how we're gonna save the California condor or how are gonna save the north might rhino and all these other species. Not that wildlife is. I think it kids inherently love plants animals and so. If you can and list than an empowered them and get them and into that fight they're good enough iron about is that the good thing it's not that hard do. To the telling point Africans so them that the money raised his isn't just for at risk youth. No no not I mean certainly not all but absolutely good portion of it is dedicated to that but we you know. I'm doctor Perry led a fourth when he established this and he is back in 1916 he's established the zoo for the children of San Diego's so that's all children in San Diego. We have a huge visitor shipped to both of our sanctuaries. Good good visitor ship even to my lab. Each each school year so. On the and we absolutely wanna engage everybody in San Diego County everybody in Southern California. And then the huge international and national in his leadership that we have whether it's in person. Or through our wildlife conservancy or through our website an incredible tools that happened for our website. We know that we're not and extinction if we just say. Local entity that Annie we're gonna take it more global. Can anybody come to the research institute and check it out so that's a great question so it's likely not open to the public like either actually you have to gain access to it but. Absolutely on through student programs and teacher program so we actually have. About 5000 students that come to visit us every single year as part of their science classes that's middle school and high school and college. And then we also host about a 150 teachers every summer from all fifty states and they come and work with us actually for an entire week. To learn all about the science of savings each season and take that science back to their classroom. So we we love working with science teachers they're kind of like. And the hardest working people in America you can imagine that already really hard to via a teacher but science thanks to answer and that's one thing where yeah. Got to stay current all the time so we're trying to help support them. In every way that we can. So now the the zoo is celebrating its 100. Birthday that's incredible it is incredible for me to be very proud of and you have a big event coming up may fourteenth so we're excited on Saturday in May fourteenth in Balboa park as organ pavilion are gonna have a giant celebration that's open to. And anyone and everyone all of San Diego County here are beyond. Where we are gonna comment we're gonna talk about this incredible history. And we're gonna just celebrate. You know create a giant role or all of us together to say wow what an incredible achievement over the last hundred years. And how exciting to think organ and keep going for another hundred years and then some and. Course the San Diego Zoo known as the world famous. San Diego Zoo is that. You know and that may have been an yeah there may have been one of the things that was kind of self proclaimed but it is. I can say I'm just like our our name implies and he is a global it really truly is a world famous. Institution not just the zoo. But everything that we're doing across the globe. We really are. A conservation organization and that's really important I think it. Provide a way forward for for other zoos and aquariums museums that are working on the same types of missions. That kind of new role as easing conservation is absolutely critical for Bennett if we're gonna achieve our vision right. I'm leading the fight and extinction so. I'm we have grown into that name of world famous I would argue that. And and it's something that we can be really really proud of and we also become a really great partner we have partners all over the globe whether it's. Governmental partners at the federal level. Or at at state and local levels nongovernmental. Partners NGOs on the ground at places like Lau in Cambodia and Kenya and Peru and the other incredibly hard working organizations of all coming together for a common goal of making sure that we can you know conserve and the most important things and on the planet including humans so that we can all kind of move forward together. So what are some of the other things that we can expect that this big celebration on the fourteenth. So it's gonna it's on the it's going to be really really big party and there are going to be some exciting people there again lots of people but also. Heather Headley who is not all of the voice of an island in the Broadway Show party musical the Lion King she's gonna be there to cool Hillary and lots and lots of people. That's kind of kick this off. They're going to be information booths many of I'm museums and elbow Parker actually gonna steal and lay some of those will be. Open free to the public basically your listeners can go to our website and learned a lot more thing that is an easy 100 dot org. There's lots of information about everything that's going to be happening on that day I'll be there it's okay he must admire Booth I'll be telling you all of the science of saving species. And and showing you exactly how you can get directly involved in what we're trying to do. And as a cost. No it's totally screw the public know please come down and celebrate with us adding it's it's going to be an incredible I mean I have to be incredible after a hundred years. I will also say on the San Diego history senator has in we've kind of collaborate with them to put together. And incredible exhibit about a hundred year history as Andy is in a I saw myself at the opening couple weeks ago. And it is incredible I I would highly recommended to anybody to go to saint history senator. I'm on that night or other night and actually learned in these galleries all about where we started and where we've come in where we're going and what are the hours of that celebration. Fourteen six to 10 PM so the evening OK jamming tonight it is it's at nighttime so it should be very very exciting. Night. Now I have to ask him. Hundred years. So are you rolling back the price is a hundred years. Hey you don't have doesn't. Hey I wish you could but I read. Are you that if you did and we wouldn't have the same conservation impacted the red but again we are nonprofits. That. All it's getting reinvested in the organization and our conservation project and we can't thank people enough for their incredible support of our work I'm. We have the largest zoo membership in the entire world 250009. Households. I mean we're just. We level we do and I think that really resonates with people Romania and they come and support us that's I have a great. Membership and our wildlife conservancy another thing that people can learn about at our website other wildlife conservancy am personally a member I love supporting organization not just through my professional work but. I'm also by giving on monthly basis so it's a really important way for us to continue doing only two inches Stan what we're doing. Are there any other events that year you're having throughout the year as part of this while 100 year celebration will mean. Of course throughout the year they're all sorts of wonderful on these grounds on residents that are happening at the zoo and safari are we have kids free month of course for the month of October so. Kids can come from anywhere and go free to the zoo where the safari park during the month of October. We also have. Are kind of zoo play days and on throughout the hearing and you can learn more at our website where we have different themes for. I offer families and kids and and the community to to learn about different things there are ardent festival lots of events like that but again all of those are diesel really nice website so I definitely have everybody check that out and Cummins yes okay so again that San Diego Zoo global. Is a nonprofit so aside from. Campaigns like the roaring Ford campaign. Where else to get your funding so of course a lot of our funding comes through memberships we have this incredible dedicated cadre of members that we're so grateful for. I'm people come and visit our T sanctuaries of course that offers a huge amount of support to our conservation efforts and we also. I've to have contracts that we actually work with again federal state and local partners who were actually. Number covering plant and animal species under contract and that is that helps support us. Also we've been really lucky to on to have grants come from pride and public foundations come to us. Donors actually incredible individuals that come forward and donate money to send it is global so there are a number of of ways on that we support our conservation efforts but. And it adds to the majority of it comes from our membership and for from people coming to visit us after Zealand actress apart are produced sniper rifle for that support. So somebody wants to help you out even more than just visiting the zoo were safari park. How would they go about doing that so they can go to our web sites any easy dot org and they would be able he had the wildlife conservancy and well let's answer and he is an fantastic membership organization within. Our organization where they can actually on give a one time donation or they can give monthly like I do I get out of everyone in my paychecks and automatically. And they can actually designate where those funds are going in different projects and things and they get all sorts of information. And updates about what we're doing and what their support is allowing us to do and really neat kind of notes from the field from our researchers are people that I work. It right down the hall from at the institute and then when they're out and about in Kenya or these other areas of the world. Working to save the elephants and giraffes and all these other animals on and plants they'll actually right from the field and that goes directly to art while left conservancy supporters. We we have just gotten more medicine any any other animals or or plants. That you working with him in saving here in Southern California or in California. Absolutely so etc. lot and obviously you know I have to I have to take a couple of hours of your time in your listeners time to tell you all of them but one thing I wanna stresses that. A lot of people don't know right here in San Diego County were part of something called biodiversity hotspots so there couple places around the world a 25 different spots on the world where we have. A ton of what are called endemic species meaning. Species of plants and animals that are found nowhere else on the planet but also the flip side. Is they are threatened with extinction so we have a lot of really rare and beautiful species of plants animals here that are found nowhere else but at her also in great peril. So what I would say is that we should all be super proud of southern Californians and San Diego fires and against in particular. We're part of this by diversity hot spot. I'm we have this incredible. You know and myriad of species that are found nowhere else we should. Be doing everything we can't learn about those entities Karen says because that's really should be a source of regional pride for us because a lot of other communities cannot claim that. So it's something that I think we should be proud us. And also rise to the responsibility of what does it mean take care of those arms ET refinery here Aaron so. Maybe I would just tell you one quick story which of course I think a lot of people think it's an easy problem I think in the California on or. It is a beautiful incredible majestic local species that's kind of perfect showcase example of a conservation story that if we didn't intervene when I say we I mean and it is a global all of our partners if we didn't intervene. And that's and that extinction crisis for that species. It would absolutely be extinct at this moment in time so we came together with a lot of different. Partners to say. We have got to see this species the reason it was going extinct was all human mediated we need to get in here and reverse this. And I'm happy to say that by the end of the 1980s when we actually started this very very intense effort. There were less than two dozen condors on the whole planet and now they're more than 450. More than half of those flat out free in the wild. In parts of Arizona and parts of California and parts of Baja California. It's an incredible story of recovery. And it's not over but is a huge source of inspiration for me when progress absolutely great progress of that's just one really iconic story that I'll never forget. It's very foreign to me. That you have any god volunteer opportunities for for people in my wanna get involved in and help you with what you do absolutely so we have a huge huge number of volunteers and they are the most dedicated individuals who ever met in your life and so if people go to its and it is a web site. Errors. Up the tab for getting involved or. It's an like opportunities are getting involved and they can actually apply to our volunteer program and I'm getting to that program in our number of different things that they can do. Even on the science side. Sometimes out in the habitat and working in the habitat on grounds Ater act at the zoo and at the safari park are lots of things that we we need does that the community for in a volunteer capacity so. Yes absolutely that would be fantastic and they won't be disappointed because they view working alongside him as dedicated people in the world these volunteers we have incredible people. So once again the 100 birthday celebration coming up may fourteenth at six to 10 PM recent. And that in Balboa park can't organs of alien organ pavilion yet. Please join us and information about that is on your website what's the website dress shirt soaked and information about that can be found at San Diego Zoo 100 dot ORG dot org but also any of these pieces can be found as I'm going to events and he has with Texas and he isn't artwork. And is there a separate website then also for San Diego Zoo global. And so any usable avoiding yet and the institute yes there is some it institute of San Diego Zoo dot org on that also will take you to the research Herman is in particularly. How Seton that is any is a global dot org. All of those are connected to see you can kind of I navigate around in a different are different departments but absolutely and they'll be information they're better Centennial. About the campaign about our conservation programs and a. Batter too beautiful sanctuaries. All right great well sounds like it's going to be a he big party I hope so on the follies there. And Maggie thank you so much for being on Saturday act I learned a lot of the dead and my pleasure Gary thanks for having me and thank you for all you do it to San Diego Zoo global and here's to another 100 years here we don't. Concludes another edition of living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed on living veteran San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views. Of the staff and management of the and it comes San Diego radio stations episodes of living in San Diego are available on the station's website. John next week when my guest will be from promises to kids for local organization creating a brighter future for Foster children. Until then I'm Garry lake have a great week.