The Greater Vancouver Zoo was awarded the Peter Karsten In-situ Conservation Award for the second time ever.
The 120-acre zoo, situated in Aldergrove, was recognized for its work alongside Pearson Ecological and Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) on the Salmon River Restoration Project at the end of last month.
The program aims to protect some of Canada’s most endangered fish, such as the Salish sucker.
The Salmon River, which runs through the zoo’s acreage, is a hotspot for local fish species including the Salish sucker – a species also found in Aldergrove’s Bertrand Creek – a tributary of the Nooksack River which runs south into Washington.
The Salmon River is home to over 12 species of fish, including wild Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, and coastal cutthroat trout.
The zoo contributes approximately $20,000 yearly to continue the restoration efforts of the riparian habitat of the river, as well as the creation of new habitats within it.
The zoo’s animal care manager Menita Prasad lauded the 2018 creation of an off-channel pond for faunas to stay during harsh winter months.
“They added all these sands and snags that will help them,” Prasad explained.
In addition, the zoo works closely with its environmental partners to provide ongoing surveillance of the restored area for vegetation structure and species diversity, as well as ecosystem diversity.
In 2015, the zoo was previously awarded the same honour for its work with the Western Painted Turtle Recovery program.
The zoo is a member of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums.