Conservation Hero

Conservation Hero

Conservation Hero

You can be a hero for wildlife, wherever you are! From here to the coast and beyond, join us as we partner with local organizations, professionals, and heroes like you to do our part to take care of our natural neighborhoods.
 
Get started by pledging to BYO (bring your own) reusable items to help reduce single-use plastics. The BYO campaign runs from Earth Day 2022 to Earth Day 2023.

  

Take the Pledge

 

Initiatives

The easiest step you can take to become a Conservation Hero is right in front of you. Take part in the Zoo's year-long Earth Day campaign, Bring Your Own, to help lessen our impact on the environment or help us clean our waterways by joining us for one of our clean-up events.

Monarch Tagging

Monarch Butterflies migrate large distances from Mexico, where they winter, to central and northern United States. To gain a better understanding of their populations and migration patterns, citizen scientists tag monarchs in late summer early fall when monarchs are in their “Super Generation” on their way back to Mexico. The tags are in conjunction with MonarchWatch.org and the University of Kansas that take the data collected during the tagging and monitor migrations.   
 
Contact the Omaha Zoo Education Department at (402)-738-2092 or educate@OmahaZoo.com for questions. 
 
Public tagging events will be held at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in September. Events are open to the public and free with membership to the Omaha Zoo or paid admission. Staff will be on-site for the duration of the times listed. Registration not required, supplies limited.
 
Public Tagging Dates at Omaha's Henry Door Zoo & Aquarium is complete for the year.  Here are a few photos from the event:

   

 

   

 

Bring Your Own Campaign

The easiest step you can take to become a Conservation Hero is right in front of you! Get started by pledging to BYO (bring your own) reusable items to help reduce single-use plastics. The BYO campaign runs from Earth Day 2022 to Earth Day 2023. Throughout the year, the Zoo will partner with local organizations, as well as heroes like you to take action, in starting ocean-friendly habits by "bringing our own" wherever we can, to help our Earth's lakes, oceans, rivers and other waterways.
 
Take the pledge to start earning your Conservation Hero status and stay tuned to the Zoo's social media channels for additional ways we can conquer single-use plastics together.
 

Take the Pledge

Check out the businesses that are apart of the campaign below! Click each location and see the discription for what to bring.

Download these smart phone wallpapers to remind yourself to Bring Your Own resusables! 

These animals are the faces of those impacted by plastic pollution. Take your pledge to help! 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lake, River and Stream Clean-ups

Lake Clean-ups are finished for the year.  Thanks to all who helped! 

 

      

 

      

                  
 

For questions, contact Education at (402)-738-2092 or educate@omahazoo.com.

 
 
    

Citizen Science Programs

Another way you can achieve your Conservation Hero status is by teaming up with your friends, family and other loved ones for a local citizen science effort. With any citizen science effort, you engage in the process of collecting and sharing observations from the physical world. By contributing information of your own, you are helping researchers fill gaps in their data and perhaps give them valuable insight from a particular area they may not have been able to study on their own.

City Nature Challenge

City Nature Challenge 2023

April 28 - May 1 

Sign-up and information coming soon!

   

 

 

CITY NATURE CHALLENGE 2022 RESULTS ARE IN!

Accept the Challenge

 

Private Workshops

Workshops are for groups or families and are available by reservation three weeks in advance. Minimum participants in a reserved workshop is 10 people with minimum age of 6 years old. Cost is $20/person unless reserved with another education program then adults are free. Cost includes supplies and equipment use. Workshops run 2 hours in length and can be reserved any day of the week.
 
Contact the Education Department at (402) 738-2092 or Educate@OmahaZoo.com to inquire about topic availability and reserving your spot today. 

Available Topics Include

Amphibian Conservation

Amphibians are vital to the ecosystem and research. Frogs and toads act as exterminators, controlling populations of insects such as mosquitoes, which may carry West Nile Virus and Malaria. Currently, skin secretions from some amphibians are being used in the pharmaceutical industry to help treat specific conditions, including cancer. Also, amphibians are called indicator species which means that they are an organism whose presence, absence or abundance reflects a specific environmental condition.
 
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, together with other zoos and organizations, have launched the Amphibian Conservation Initiative to address the decline of amphibians on a global scale. This initiative includes the establishment of facilities and the training of staff, capable of quarantining amphibians and carrying out captive breeding programs. Once threats have been lowered or resolved, offspring of the amphibians will be released back into the wild.
 
This workshop will look at threats as well as opportunities to restore populations not only abroad but in your own backyards. Hands-on experiences will be available during weather appropriate times of year. Tours of research facilities and/or discussions with experts are possible on a conditional basis.   

Butterfly Conservation

Approximately 3% of butterfly species are threatened with extinction. Monarchs have declined 85% in two decades. This decline in butterfly populations is attributed primarily to habitat loss due to urbanization and agriculture. As populations continue to decrease, a growing need to monitor species more closely is developing. Because there is little distinction between some types of butterflies, identification and classification proves to be a challenge. Very few Lepidopterists (scientists who study butterflies and moths) exist; therefore, monitoring population sizes and ranges of butterfly species is a daunting task.
 
This workshop will illustrate the different types of butterflies concentrating on Nebraska natives and looking at challenges and opportunities, as well as introducing participants to sampling techniques (weather permitting). Tagging and sampling are weather appropriate activities, but techniques will be illustrated and explained during off seasons. Expert visits and facility tours are available on a conditional basis.   
 

SECORE Conservation (SExual COral REproduction)

Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to global warming, ocean acidification, sedimentation, eutrophication, African dust storms and mechanical damage, just to name a few. There is a reproductive bottleneck that is making it increasingly difficult for these corals to reproduce sexually in the wild. SECORE has become the main coral reef conservation project in zoos and public aquariums around the world. Coral Reef Conservation on the Island of Curacao is a collaborative effort among public aquarium professionals and researchers. This collaboration links research efforts and excellence in coral reef husbandry, education, and conservation.
 
The mission of SECORE is to develop techniques for the sexual propagation of the critically endangered corals. The goals are three-fold.
  •  to reproduce these corals sexually as to enhance genetic diversity.
  •  to use these sexually reproduced corals, growing in flow-thru systems, for coral reef restoration research efforts by planting them back onto the reefs at different sizes.
  • and, to monitor these corals at the outplant sites and in the flow-thru systems for growth and survivorship.
This workshop will help illustrate the importance of this collaboration and propagation methods of the partner organizations as well as show the techniques involved. Join researchers as they talk about their work and show coral planula as they grow.   

 

Resources for Workshop Topics