14/03/2014

The Zoo starts its big transformation with the deployment of the Strategic Plan 2012-2020


The Park reaches the second best attendance of the decade

The construction of the installations for orangutans and the Sabana will start in June

A new dolphinarium will be located within the enclosure

The Barcelona Zoo achieved in 2013 the second best attendance of the last decade, receiving 1.113.724 visitors, an average of 2.211 visitors per day. This means a 3’1% growth from last year, approaching the record of 1.164.027 visitors made in 2011. Regarding incomes, the Zoo achieved 12.502.293€, 225.000€ more than last year, with an operating margin of 724.640€ and an increase of the 10% of adult visitors and the a 60% reduction of the costs in publicity.

2.012 2.013
Visitors 1.080.187 1.113.724
Total Income 12.276.721€ 12.502.293€
Operating margin 1.041.135€ 316.485€

At the end of 2013, 30.394 families were in the Zoo Club, a total of 104.616 people. At the education department, which takes care of trespassing values of respect towards natures and the animals, was visited by 43.620 boys and girls. Besides, the Customer Satisfaction Index shows that visitor grades the Zoo with a 7,8 with a confidence level of the 95’5%.

The Zoo also collaborates with educational institutions and this year 317 students from Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Universitat Pompeu Fabra have taken classes at the zoo, along with 482 students from other institutions. As a member of the Consell de Coordinació Pedagògica, and through the Education department, the Barcelona Zoo has given a total of 1.106 scolarships to educational activities, 30 more than last year and 950 more than 5 years ago.

Newborns and new species

This year the zoo has incorporated to its collection 24 new species and 19 more different species. Furthermore, 64 species had been born at the zoo during 2013, such as the dama gazelle, a red panda and Balu, the Bornean orangutan who was born in October and who became the third Bornean orangutan to be born at the zoo in the last 5 years. The complete collection consists of 2.214 individuals from 329 different taxa.

New installations 2014-2015. Orangutans and Savannah

As it is said in the Strategic Plan 2012-2020 and with the intention of updating the installations to the requirements and necessities of the animals, during 2013 the first phase of the extension of the elephant’s facility has been effectuated, with an investment of 620.000€.

During 2014 and part of 2015, the expected actions in the Savannah and in the Orangutans facilities will be executed, with an investment of 7.400.000€ in total. Both projects are currently in tender and it is expected that the construction work will start in June. 

The Savannah implies the definitive extension of the elephant’s facility, and the constructions of the giraffes and the lions, that together with the hippos installation and the first phase of the elephant’s will join every installation in a Savannah bioma integrated in a single visual area. This project is in tender and it is expected that the construction work will start in June 2014. 

The Orangutans facility will become in practice in a new one. The new space will cover around 1000 m2 and will permit the visitors to watch orangutans all day, without taking care of the climatology. The exterior spaces will imitate a tropical rainforest that will allow animals recreate its natural behaviour. In addition, during 2014 the executive project for the construction of the new installation for tigers will be written.

A new dolphinarium Zoo

Following the line of improving the standards for the animals’ welfare, the Barcelona Zoo is developing the project of a new dolphinarium located within the enclosure with the objective of guaranteeing and improving the animals’ welfare according to the requirements of the European Association of Aquatic Mammals. With the construction of this new dolphinarium it is intended to improve the enrichment programmes for the dolphins’ socialization and to give an impetus to the sensitization and education of the visitors in respect of the conservation of the species and biodiversity.  

The new installation will be located within the current enclosure of the Zoo and will cover 2.083 m2, approximately. It will be a single large pool with different areas and it will be 5 metres deep at the central zone, 1,5 metres more than now. Dolphins will be always visible to visitors, including the possibility of underwater vision. The new dolphinarium will also have a quarantine pool. The pool will be naturalized and will include a shade zone designed for the welfare of the dolphins. 

The Zoo will keep the enrichment and socialization programmes, but without a daily exhibition for public in stands. In addition, during the visit of the new installation the visitor will be able to observe the archaeological remains of the old fortress and, besides, there will be a 4D cinema, a polyvalent room and a restaurant.

Barcelona Zoo Foundation

Barcelona Zoo Foundation works to promote projects that share the values of conservation, education, awareness, protection and preservation of wildlife and biodiversity. In this sense during 2013 there have been several actions that help to advance on education and awareness in relation to species, habitats and ecosystems in general.

Earlier this year, the Barcelona Zoo Foundation signed an agreement with Universitat Pompeu Fabra for the next 3 years, with the aim of promoting Quality University researches by which students may perform Humanities and Human Biology practical classes in facilities at the Zoo. Some other agreements that the Foundations signed this year are the agreement with Bosch I Gimpera Foundation to conduct research in the school, the collaboration with the Institute of Ornithology of Catalonia (OIC) for the development of activities in the ringing center at the Zoo and the agreements with the Institute of Biodiversity Research (IRBIO), among others. 

The work of the Foundation has taken shape in numerous articles and reports published in various journals, among them the genomic study that explains the causes of albinism of Snowflake, developed by researchers at the Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (UPF-CSIC) with the support of the Barcelona Zoo Foundation. In addition, since last August, the Barcelona Zoo is part of Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP), which works to prevent the imminent extinction of great primates.

Thirteen Barcelona Zoo Research and Conservation Programme (PRIC) grants were given last year to different projects on research and conservation for a total of 40. The winning project of the Snowflake grant was “Phylogeographical analysis of gorillas through mitochondrial DNA”, by Irene Hernando from the Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC) - Universitat Pompeu Fabra. And last, last year was created the Antoni Jonch grant, intended for research projects on local fauna. In 2013, the beneficiary of the grant was the project “Effect of transport infrastructure on the fragmentation of populations of natterjack toad (Bufo calamita)”, by Núria Garriga from the Universitat de Barcelona.

New Maintenance Model 

Parallel to the expansion and improvement actions envisaged in the Strategic Plan 2012-2020, a new model is being introduced maintenance, ensuring the smooth running of the park in all its facilities. 

Therefore, a comprehensive maintenance contract (Facilities Management) covering the areas of maintenance, gardening and cleaning has been awarded. This new model aims to improve operational control of facilities, from a corrective model to a preventive model, with bounded costs. There has also been a process of "Reset" of deteriorated facilities totaling 1.300.000 euros

Així s’ha adjudicat un contracte de manteniment integral (facilities management) que abasta els àmbits de manteniment, jardineria i neteja. El nou model te per objectiu millorar el control operatiu de les instal·lacions, partint d’un model correctiu a un model preventiu amb costos acotats. Paral·lelament s’ha fet també un procés de “posta a zero” de les instal·lacions més deteriorades per valor de 1.300.000 euros

Accessibility Plan

Another work line to improve the Park is to make it accessible to people with physical, visual, hearing or intellectual disability, so everyone can enjoy equally the Zoo experience. The Barcelona Zoo has been working with different associations for the development of an Accessibility Plan. In this regard it is expected an improvement in the flooring, a conditioning ramps plan ramps, a removal of steps and a communication plan for the groups mentioned above. In a longer term, is also expected to improve accessibility in the observation of animals and remove major barriers.   

Setmana Floquet de Neu

This year has been the tenth anniversary of the decease of Snowfalke, the most iconic animal who has lived at the Barcelona Zoo. Ten years after, the Barcelona Zoo and its foundation commemorate Snowflake’s passing away with a long week dedicated to his figure, being he the greatest exponent of the efforts on the conservation of the great primates in different fields. In parallel to the increasing awareness about the threats these animals have to deal with in order to survive at the jungle, Zoo’s aim is to keep improving the development of the research and conservation projects. 

In that way, different activities took place at the Zoo in order to remember Snowflake, including the exhibition “10 years without Snowflake: working for the conservations of primates”. This exhibition was a brief review of his story in which are highlighted the main aspects of his life, since he was discovered in Ecuatorial Guinea in 1966 by the primatologist Jordi Sabater Pi. Besides, there was also a treasure hunt with the aim of learning about the challenges that gorillas have to deal with daily in the jungle, painting exhibitions and conferences. 

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