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Conservation and Research

The Riverview Park and Zoo is actively involved in many conservation efforts. We proudly partner with local, national, and international organizations to help make a difference for wildlife and the environment. We also actively participate in a variety of Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) programs, including Species Survival Plan (SSP), Population Management Plan (PMP), etc. intended to develop and maintain sustainable populations of endangered or critically endangered species.


Supporting Local Conservation Initiatives



The Park and Zoo has been an active supporter of the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre) since it's inception (when the Centre was located in the Park and Zoo's Dobbin Building).

 The Kawartha Turtle Truama Centre in it's original location at the Park and Zoo.OTCC Early Days at Dobbin Building 

Today the Park and Zoo and the OTCC  enjoy a partnership that includes joint educational programming, cooperative use of equipment, accepting injured turtles, releasing rehabilitated turtles, support of field research, and the regular provision of supplies and feed for the care of the turtles at the Centre. 

 OTCC Turtle Release 02

 Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre Education Program - Donnell talking about turtle eggs.













Otonabee Conservation Logo


For many years Otonabee Conservation has been an important partner for Riverview. The Park and Zoo has worked with ORCA on many projects, conservation events as well as education initiatives. 



 Student with camera

Some examples include the restoration of the creek bed near the Riverview railway, stabilization of the Otonabee river's shoreline, planting of pollinator gardens, and the delivery of the renowned Bondar Challenge educational photography program.  

Creek Naturalization 02


Other Conservation Opportunities

The Park and Zoo has also supported a variety of other organizations/initiatives as opportunities arise.

Rehabilitated Moose Release 01 Rehabilitated Moose Release 02








Assisting with the release of two rehabilitated moose near Algonquin Park.


Snapping Turtles Hatchlings 01 Snapping Turtle Release 03









 Protecting snapping turtle hatchlings on the Park and Zoo property.





Protecting Critically Endangered Species

Breeding the Sulawesi Forest Turtle

Riverview has been recognized for our success in breeding the critically endangered Sulawesi forest turtle. The Sulawesi forest turtle is a small freshwater turtle species that inhabits the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Only discovered in 1995, little is known about their ecological or reproductive behavior. Unfortunately recent information indicates there may be fewer than 100 of this unique species left in the wild. The major threats to the Sulawesi forest turtle are illegal exportation for the pet trade, poaching for food and habitat loss.

 Sulawesi Forest Turtle Eggs in Exhibit
 ​Sulawesi Forest Turtle Hatching with Zookeeper Matt








Riverview Park & Zoo has had four successful hatchings over the last three years. We are proud to be the only Canadian organization, and one of only a handful of organizations in North America to be breeding these rare and little-known chelonians.

In the fall of 2017, Riverview's work with this species was recognized by Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums with the prestigious Colonel G. C. Dailley Conservation Award. This national award recognizes excellence in species propagation and was presented at CAZA's national conference in Ottawa.

 CAZA Colonel Dailley Award Trophy

Other Species

Our other programs include work with the African red-billed hornbill, Goeldi’s monkey, common squirrel monkey, and Sichuan takin.

Red Billed Hornbills and Juvenilles 




Riverview Park and Zoo is proud to partner with Trent University and other organizations to support research.

The following are some of the research papers the zoo has been involved in.

Research Paper Arsenault_Mackenzie - Popularity of Zoo Mammals Related to Size

Research Paper Bainbridge_Sydney - Mammalian Popularity

Research Paper Banton-Jones Kyle - Behavioural Effects of Environmental Changes on a Meerkat Clan

Research Paper Beaudin-Judd Julie - Impact of Open vs Closed Exhibit Designs on Wallaby Behaviour

Research Paper Francis Caitlin - Synchrony of two Captive Ruminant Species

Research Paper Hollingshead Brett- Does Body Size Affect Animal Popularity?

Research Paper Jones Connor - How Body Size Affects the Popularity of Mammalian Exhibits

Research Paper Mather Elizabeth - What Influences Visitor Patterns at the Peterborough Zoo

Research Paper Peeters Graham - Popularity of Zoo Animals Based Upon Different Factors

Research Paper Walton Sarah - Effect of Enrichment Items on Social Interactions of Norther River Otters

Published Article - Breeding the Sulawesi Forest Turtle 

On-Line Article - Red-Billed Hornbill Genetics

Research Paper - Beaudin-Judd, Weladji, Lazure & Paré - Activity of Bennetts Wallabies