Orana Wildlife Park

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Orana Wildlife Trust is dedicated to environmental preservation and conservation of endangered species through involvement in captive breeding programs. Park staff is proud to have made contributions to conservation of New Zealand fauna including kiwi, blue duck, brown teal, antipodes island parakeet, tuatara and yellowhead. Internationally, Orana is known for its breeding programs for Rothschild's giraffe, southern white rhinoceros, cheetah, scimitar-horned oryx & sable antelope.

In this race against time to save species from becoming extinct, Orana Wildlife Park is an important link in the worldwide network of zoos and parks dedicated to the preservation of rare & endangered species. As a modern zoological park, Orana ascribes to the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy & is therefore dedicated to becoming involved in more in-situ (in the wild) conservation projects in the future.

Orana Wildlife Trust is a full institutional member of the following organizations: World Association of Zoos & Aquariums (WAZA), the Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks & Aquaria (ARAZPA) and the New Zealand Conservation Management Group (NZCMaG), which is the New Zealand branch of ARAZPA. NZCMaG co-ordinates all the captive breeding programs for New Zealand species on behalf of the Department of Conservation.

Orana is actively involved in recognized international & regional breeding programs for most species displayed at the Park. Within such programs, wildlife facilities either 'breed' or 'hold' any given species. Not all institutions can breed the same species as there are limited spaces to move offspring. Therefore, the role of a 'holder' of an animal (examples at Orana include antipodes island parakeet, tuatara, otters and tigers) is to advocate for the conservation of that species and, if required, send animals to a breeding institution.

Most of the endangered animals at the Park do not belong to Orana Wildlife Trust but to the relevant breeding program which makes decisions as to which females are best bred with which males to ensure the most diverse gene pool possible in the captive populations. From time to time animals are moved between various zoos & parks to enhance the genetic diversity of their particular species.

Perhaps the most significant conservation work currently carried out by the Park is the involvement in 'breed for release' captive recovery programs for endangered New Zealand waterfowl (blue duck & brown teal) as well as North Island brown kiwi. Blue duck & brown teal bred at the Park have regularly been released to the wild.

Orana Wildlife Park is blessed with an attractive & varied bird habitat, which is home to many wild birds. The artesian waterways around the Park are teeming with rainbow trout and are of importance to many New Zealand native & migrating bird species. Paradise shelduck, pukeko, grey teal, New Zealand kingfisher, welcome swallow & New Zealand scaup along with a locally important breeding population of Australasian coot are all resident on & around the waterways. Pied stilts also find the environment much to their liking & can often be seen wading in the shallows in the waterways throughout the Park. Many species also frequent the Park seasonally, such as New Zealand shoveler, white-faced heron and Canada geese. In the areas of Orana Wildlife Park where native trees have established it is common to see fantails and grey warblers flitting through the bush. Occasional sightings of bellbird and shining cuckoo are also known to occur. In addition to birdlife, the Park is home to many other New Zealand native creatures. Two species of lizard, the common skink & spotted skink, also live & breed on the Park's grounds along with weta, stick insects and an abundance of other native invertebrates.

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Orana Wildlife Park is operated by Orana Wildlife Trust, a registered charity, which also runs Southern Encounter Aquarium & Kiwi House in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Set on 80 hectares of park-like grounds, Orana Wildlife Park is New Zealand's only open range zoo. We offer a range of exciting animal encounters on a daily basis. The Park is located within ten minutes drive of Christchurch International Airport and 25 minutes drive from the City centre. There is also a transport service with Sunshine Shuttles.

The Park has been developed as an open range sanctuary for endangered animals, providing them with enclosures as close to their natural habitat as possible. Streams, moats and banks are used as barriers to allow visitors the opportunity to see the animals in a natural manner. Over 400 animals from 70 different species are displayed.

Conservation is one of the Park's core missions and the name Orana is the Maori word for welcome or place of refuge. Orana Wildlife Park is internationally recognised for its involvement in captive breeding programmes for endangered exotic animals, as well as New Zealand's own rare fauna.