June 8 marks World Oceans Day, an official UN observance since 2008, aimed at raising public awareness of the importance of protecting oceans, covering over 70 of the Earth’s surface. In addition to being home to unique and immensely diverse wildlife, oceans (through the phytoplankton that inhabits them) produce the majority of the oxygen we breathe and provide food and livelihood for over 3 billion people worldwide.
Today is the perfect time for us to let you know that, following the arrival of 15 cichlid species native to Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi on last year’s Night at the Zoo, we have recently welcomed more finned friends – over 50 individuals of 6 cichlid species from Tropicarium Budapest and ZOO Wrocław (Poland). The newcomers reside behind the scenes in the Palm House for now but are planned to join their cousins in a mixed-species pool also shared by Snapi, our Nile crocodile, so you will soon get to check them all out.
These most recent additions to our collection are of considerable conservation value as all six species are included in the IUCN’s Red List, with a Vulnerable classification for blue Victoria mouthbrooders (Haplochromis nubilus) and Critically Endangered for Haplochromis perrieri and Coptodon deckerti, due to habitat pollution and invasive species. These three are also zoo rarities, found only here in Hungary and just two other zoos throughout Europe.
World Oceans Day is also a fitting occasion for us to try and raise awareness of Which Fish Campaign, a 2020-2021 conservation campaign launched by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA – the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria), focused on the sustainable use of marine resources. As a full member of EAZA, we have joined these efforts by setting up an education corner in the Palm House, with an introduction to key campaign goals and an opportunity for you to support these goals by purchasing Which Fish?-themed souvenir coins.
Further info on Which Fish? at:
Debrecen Zoo and Amusement Park