Nature & species conservation

Nature & species conservation is one of the worldwide great tasks of zoological gardens. Information with regard to the life of animals under natural conditions, their endangerment and their environment contributes towards motivating visitors to behave in a more environmentally friendly manner and to get involved in matters of nature conservation. The zoo animals are thereby ambassadors for their fellow species.

Species conservation at Zoo Rostock

Due to its activity as a rescue centre for injured animals of many wild animal species the Rostock Zoo provides an important contribution towards nature conservation in the region. In particular, storks, birds of prey and owls are among the fosterlings which are nurtured or nursed back to health with lots of enthusiasm and eventually released again by the zookeepers.

Researching the needs and lifestyle habits of animals living in the zoo also serves the protection of endangered animal species. The constant work on improving animal husbandry and the international coordination of breeding many zoo animal species has the objective to achieve a stable animal population in the zoos, and enables reintroduction of animals into the wild when the conditions require it. The studbook for polar bears maintained at the Rostock Zoo also serves this objective.

Weißstorch im Zoo hautnah erleben

At present, 4,500 animals in 450 species are kept at the Rostock Zoo. Of these, 34 animal species are listed in Annexe A, and 43 species are listed in Annexe B of Council Regulation (EC) No. 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora. Furthermore, we keep 29 indigenous animal species which are protected in Europe in accordance with the Birds Directive, Flora, Fauna and Habitat Directive as well as the Federal Nature Conservation Act. We participate in 24 EEPs (European Endangered Species Programmes) and 27 studbooks, of which 14 are international studbooks, as well as various monitoring programmes under the umbrella organisation known as the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria – (EAZA). We also actively work in the EAZA Bear TAG (Taxon Advisory Group).


In addition, the Rostock Zoo also supports organisations which are involved in the protection of endangered species. This is nature conservation work in the nature conservation areas (in-situ). The zoo is a supporting partner in the following organisations:

Polar Bears International (PBI)

The Rostock Zoo is proud of the cooperation with Polar Bears International existing since May 2017. PBI is a species conservation organisation which is committed to the protection of polar bears and the preservation of their habitat, the Artic.

Berggorilla- und Regenwald Direkthilfe e.V.

The objective of the registered association Mountain Gorilla and Rainforest Direct Aid (Berggorilla- und Regenwald Direkthilfe e.V.) is to safeguard the survival of mountain gorillas and other endangered gorilla populations.

Orang-Utans in Not e.V.

The association supports several projects in Borneo and Sumatra, for example in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, an area of around 76,000 hectares in the province of Central Kalimantan in the Indonesian part of Borneo. The reserve is home to many endangered species and is also an important release area for orangutans.

CBSG (Conservation Breeding Specialist Group) der World Conservation Union (IUCN)

CBSG is an organisation which for 25 years now has been dealing with the management of small populations in-situ (i.e. in the natural environment: in wildlife and nature parks) and ex-situ (i.e. in captivity: in zoos and animal parks), and organises this internationally.

Lutreola Foundation

The Lutreola Foundation supports the preservation and resettlement of the European mink.

World Wild Found For Nature (WWF)

For 45 years the WWF has been involved in the conservation of biological diversity.

Stiftung Artenschutz

The objective of the Stiftung Artenschutz (Species Conservation Foundation), which has been in existence since March 2001, is therefore to preserve existentially endangered animal species and their ancestral habitats.

Tenkile Conservation Alliance

The Rostock Zoo supports the Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA) – an organisation which is committed to researching and protecting endangered tree kangaroo species.

Conservation project for the northern yellow-cheeked crested gibbon in Vietnam

Very little is known about the yellow-cheeked crested gibbon, but there are only about 800 specimens of this special ape species. The conservation project concentrates on Kon Ka Kinh National Park, in which the largest known population of gibbons lives. The project is a special collaboration between the Species Conservation Foundation, the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and European zoo analyst Anthony Sheridan.


Rostock Zoo is a member in the following organisations:

WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums)

EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria)

VdZ (Verband der Zoologischen Gärten [Association of Zoological Gardens])

Landeszooverband Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern State Zoo Association)