Our Mission: The Greensboro Science Center's conservation mission is to preserve species and habitats through on-site programs, community awareness, field studies and fundraising for local and global conservation efforts.
Our Vision: Conservation and preservation of animals and habitats can only be realized by altering individual habits and behaviors, and by working collaboratively with organizations, academics and governing bodies to better our environment.
Your small change is making a big difference!
Every time you visit the GSC, you are supporting wildlife conservation. Twenty-five cents of each admission ticket is allocated to conservation efforts. Upon entry, you will receive a token that allows you to cast a vote for 1 of 3 conservation projects. See below for current projects.
Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) is the largest marine-conservation organization dedicated to restoring coral reefs to a healthy state in Florida as well as globally. Scientists at CRF actively grow coral in nurseries off of the coast of Florida. As the corals grow, they are planted on a reef in Florida for continued monitoring. This has ensured over 70,000 healthy staghorn and elkhorn corals were planted back onto the Florida Reef Tract. Many have grown into thriving colonies that are spawning, helping to ensure the success of the colony restoration of the reef. The Foundation is supported by a team of staff and volunteer divers as well as university partners. These team members work together to build reef trees to grow the young coral in the nurseries, remove and place juvenile coral onto reef tracts, and monitor the coral to ensure they are growing and reproducing well. Collaborative research with NOAA and other scientists ensures a healthy reef with good genetic diversity. CRF is currently working to restore eight reef sites along the Florida Reef Tract.
The mission of the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) is transforming passion for turtles into effective conservation action through a global network of living collections and recovery programs. The TSA formed in 2001 as an IUCN partner to sustain freshwater turtles and tortoises. They initially launched in response to the issue of turtle poaching, particularly in Asia. The alliance has grown and now works with many zoos and aquariums, universities, private breeders and serious hobbyists, veterinarians, conservation NGOs (non-government organizations), range country turtle facilities, and turtle rescue organizations. Together, they restore populations in the wild, secure species in captivity through assurance colonies, and build capacity to restore, secure and conserve species within their range country. In 2013, TSA opened the Turtle Survival Center (TSC) in South Carolina; just three years since, they now have a world-class turtle conservation center, complete with a greenhouse, veterinary clinic, quarantine facility, and multiple indoor/outdoor enclosures.
Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) protects endangered species and habitats through science-based field action. Through their three key goals of saving species, protecting wildlands and building capacity this group of scientists, conservationists, policy makers, industry leaders and volunteers collaborate to save species.
GWC supports many projects that impact a variety of species. One such group is made up of small mammals. Conservation efforts for small mammals are often unnoticed, because people tend to focus on the large mammals. Therefore, small mammals are understudied, and their conservation is underrepresented. Fortunately, some species are now getting more attention than ever before, which means work is being done to better understand their ecology so that we can protect and save them. One particular species is the Santa Catarina’s Guinea Pig.
The Critically Endangered Santa Catarina's Guinea Pig (Cavia intermedia) is one of the rarest species on the planet, whose population, when last counted, was estimated at just 42 animals. Found on a small island off the coast of Brazil, these animals are particularly vulnerable to both hunting and natural disasters.
Luckily, Brazilian biologist Dr. Carlos Salvador is championing the guinea pigs' cause. Carlos has been busy, having already drummed up funding to hold the first ever species action planning workshop. This meeting will bring together all interested parties to decide on how to best bolster numbers and protect the species. What the project really needs now is to be able to measure how well the Santa Catarina Guinea Pig is doing. This information will be vital for tracking the success of any conservation actions implemented. Carlos plans to set up a network of camera traps across the island to aid in identification of individual animals; this will also allow real-time tracking of the small population. Collected data can tell us how many there are and also provide us with more information about how they behave as well as how they are using their habitats.
The GSC protects native wildlife by providing habitats for species in need. All activity from these projects is documented and shared with global conservation organizations to better preserve our backyard wildlife.
The GSC supports the Piedmont Land Conservancy. Property throughout the Piedmont is protected and preserved in its natural state because of the work of the Conservancy. To learn more about Piedmont Land Conservancy and how to get involved, visit https://www.piedmontland.org/.
The GSC supports the Fishing Cat Conservancy, an organization dedicated to the long-term survival of the endangered fishing cat and its globally important mangrove habitat through public education, capacity building, and community-based field research and conservation. You can keep up with what’s getting accomplished by visiting the Fishing Cat Conservancy’s Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/fishingcatconservancy/
Invasive species are problematic around the world, but their effects are magnified on islands. Nearly half of our world’s threatened vertebrates live on islands and are endangered by invasive species. Mona Island, located off the coast of Puerto Rico, is home to the endemic and endangered Mona Rhinoceros iguana. From pine trees dropping needles that prohibit iguanas from building their nests, to feral pigs destroying the nests and habitat, to feral cats predating on the juveniles, this species is in need of protection. The GSC is helping Island Conservation, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service save the species. Volunteers from Center for Conservation and Coastal Ecological Restoration: Vida Marina with Island Conservation staff have removed large amounts of pine needles from nesting habitats to allow the iguanas the opportunity to breed. The GSC has provided motion detecting field cameras for the island to monitor how the iguanas are using their restored habitats. The GSC research department and Island Conservation staff will work together to analyze the cameras’ content. To learn more about the project visit https://www.islandconservation.org/mona-island-puerto-rico/.
North Carolina is home to more than 60 species of freshwater mussels, and half of these are listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern within the state (source: http://ncwildlife.org/Learning/Species/Mollusks). These animals are an important indicator of water quality. Conservation partners throughout the state are working to protect and restore aquatic habitats and mussel populations in our waterways. The GSC houses the Eastern Creekshell mussel. This species is an ambassador for the many others in need of conservation, as mussels are the most imperiled group of animals in the world. In addition to the exhibit, GSC staff are working with the NCWRC to implement a field conservation project to help restore mussels. his project will invite local citizens to become more involved in their watersheds health.
Three bat detectors have been placed in the GSC’s zoo to investigate bat species presence and activity through the forest canopy year-round. The data are being collected as part of a long-term research study of bats in Greensboro and throughout North Carolina.
The Greensboro Science Center is a proud partner of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch® program to help consumers and businesses make ocean-friendly seafood choices.
Humans have depended on food from the oceans for thousands of years. But in recent decades, the health of the ocean has changed and the availability of healthy, sustainable fish is declining. Pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing are placing our oceans’ fishes in trouble. But we can fix this and you can help.
What is Seafood Watch?
The vision of Seafood Watch is to help sustain wild, diverse and healthy ocean ecosystems that will exist long into the future. They encourage consumers and businesses to purchase seafood that is fished or farmed in ways that are sustainable. Seafood Watch uses science-based, peer reviewed methods to assess how fisheries and farmed seafood impact the environment and they provide recommendations indicating which items are ‘Best Choices,’ ‘Good Alternatives,’ and which ones to ‘Avoid.’
What You Can Do?
You can help keep the ocean healthy by picking up a Seafood Watch guide at the GSC and by following Seafood Watch on Facebook and Twitter. You can also download the free Seafood Watch app for up-to-date recommendations on where to find ocean-friendly seafood. With the Project FishMap app, users can share the location of restaurants and markets that carry sustainable seafood in our community.