The Indianapolis Zoo has partnered with an international conservation group to create the first Global Center for Species Survival.
Rob Shumaker, president of the Indianapolis Zoological Society, and leaders of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) signed an agreement establishing the new center this week during a meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The center is slated to open in Indianapolis next year, and was made possible through a $4 million start-up grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Zoo officials say it will serve as an international as a hub for species conservation efforts.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that every significant conservation project in the world will be touched by the Global Center for Species Survival,” Shumaker said. “This is the next important step in our Zoo’s commitment to advancing animal conservation, and it fundamentally transforms our ability to make a genuine difference in protecting the natural world.”
The GCSS will employ a team of nine experts based at the Indianapolis Zoo. The Zoo and SSC are in the process of recruiting team members and constructing a new operating space within the Zoo. Along with being home to the team’s offices, officials said, the GCSS will host international meetings and conferences.