Durrell has had a single mission; saving species from extinction. However, in the long-term, we want to not only prevent extinctions but also recover populations of threatened species.

Foundation date

1963

Members

14.000 members

Location

Based in Jersey in the Channel Islands but working in 18 countries around the world

Brazil – Atlantic Rainforest in Britain -Temperate Forest Floreana Island – Galapagos Archipelago of India and Terai -Grasslands in Jersey – Coastlands andDry Forests in Madagascar – Wetlands in Mauritius – Island Ecosystems in Saint Lucia – Dry Forest and Rainforestin Sumatra

Ongoing initiatives

  • Science. Provide evidence to guide our conservation strategies, monitor effectiveness of the actions taken and evaluate the impact that they are achieving.
  • Zoo. Programmes of endangered species breeding, development of specialist animal management and breeding techniques and skills, and provide a ‘wild’ zoo experience for our visitors to get a closer connection with nature.
  • Conservation training. Specialist training and capacity building to enable conservationists and partner organisations in our priority regions to become more effective.
  • Rewilding sites. Combat human-driven threats, support local communities, recover threatened or missing wildlife, and restore ecological functions and habitats on ten ‘rewilding sites’ across the world’s major terrestrial biomes.

The beginnings

The founder of Durrel is the famous British author and conservationist Gerald Durrell, who was a visionary. The publication of My Family and Other Animals in 1956 made Durrell a notable author and brought him public recognition as a naturalist.

He believed that good zoos could do great things in conservation and nearly 60 years ago he set out to prove it. Gerald Durrell strongly believed in the importance of sharing knowledge with conservationists around the world and now Durrell will continue, through its academies in Jersey and Mauritius, to focus on it.

Bat flight monitoring | Giraffa

Bat flight monitoring

Source: Durrell

Dana and her offspring Kea | Giraffa

Dana and Kea

Source: Durrell

Milestones achieved

  • Durrell has worked hard for six decades to conserve wildlife and help local people.
  • Our field staff operate 50 projects in 18 countries around the world. We focus on islands, where unique species are under immense pressure, and on animal groups suffering the worst declines, such as primates and amphibians.
  • Durrell is unique among conservation organisations in integrating four core areas of operation: Field Programmes which undertakes conservation action around the world, the Academy which builds the capacity of conservation practitioners, Jersey Zoo as a centre of excellence in animal husbandry, research, training and education and Conservation Science which underpins all.
  • The Durrell Index is our sector-leading approach to doing this. It includes a suite of ‘key performance indicators’ and illustrative stories that we use to track the threats facing our species, the actions we take, and the difference we make to species, ecosystems and people: our impact.
  • More than 4,100 individuals from 137 countries have participated in Durrell courses and workshops.

Husbandry training

Source: Durrell

Red tail laughing trush

Source: Charlotte Pegg

Current concerns

  • Human actions are stripping wildlife from the face of the planet, destroying the building blocks of ecosystems and reducing wild species resilience to cope with future change. We want to reverse this trend through an ‘intensive care’ conservation approach.
  • The Living Planet Index (a measure of the state of the world’s biodiversity based on information about over 4000 species) shows that, on average, animal populations have declined by 50% over the last 40 years. This extreme loss of plant and animal life is a result of mankind’s over-exploitation of the planet’s resources. Nature’s diversity plays a vital role in regulating the climate, water systems, soil production, provision of food and pollination of crop plants; all of which enable mankind’s existence.
  • The continuing decline in health of the natural world and wildlife and its direct and severe impact on people’s livelihoods, wellbeing and the sustainability of the global economy.

Upcoming objectives

By 2025, the year when Gerald Durrell would have celebrated his 100th birthday Durrell wants to see:

  • 10 ecosystems across the worlds major biomes being rewilded.
  • 100 threatened species on the road to recovery.
  • 500 endangered species project working more effectively.
  • 1,000,000 people better connected with nature.
Sumatran Orangutan | Giraffa

Sumatran Orangutan

Source: Tiffany Lang (Durrell)

How can I help?

Every pound raised helps protect threatened wildlife. Our supporters, be they members, visitors, partners or donors, are vital to our mission. You can donate, adopt, shop in the online store or give a gift in your will.

Sources of funding

It costs over £8million to run Durrell every year and this income is raised via commercial activities, donations, fundraising activities and the generosity of our members and supporters.

An example to follow

In the words of Gerald Durrell: “The world is as delicate and as complicated as a spider’s web. If you touch one thread you send shudders running through all the other threads. We are not just touching the web; we are tearing great holes in it.”

But like a spider’s web, we can also rebuild the threads, making new connections between animals and their habitats. We can return important functions and processes that will make those systems resilient to future change.

A dream

Whilst saving species will remain at the heart of what we do, our ambitions for bringing about change go beyond this. In the long-term, we want to not only prevent extinctions but also recover populations of threatened species.

We will harness our species management expertise to drive the rewilding of ecosystems so that they are more functional, diverse and resilient; thereby improving the quality of local people’s lives. Through our work in the wild and at our zoo, we will reconnect people with nature and help drive the societal change needed to save and restore the natural world..

A good habit

Networking is essential to establish a series of rewilding sites.

A disturbing reflection

Across the globe, increasing urbanisation has broken connections with the rhythms and balances of nature, which has eroded our sense of belonging, empathy and sense of responsibility for the world we live in.

A reflection for hope

Restoring the health of our planet requires people to positively change how they value the environment. The first step is to build a strong emotional connection between people and the natural world.

Sumatran Orangutan hanging in a tree | Giraffa

Sumatran Orangutan hanging on a tree

Source: Greg Hume