Oct. 23, 2015

Saint Louis Zoo 314/781-0900
Susan Gallagher, 314/646-4633;
Christy Childs, 314/646-4639;
Joanna Hoeltge, 314/646-4703;

Donate to a new crowdfunding campaign to help save endangered reptiles and amphibians

This is nothing to hiss at! The Saint Louis Zoo is launching a crowdfunding initiative to support Armenia's first conservation breeding center dedicated to saving that nation's endangered reptiles and amphibians from extinction.

The Zoo is using St. Louis-based crowdfunding platform Gladitood to raise $40,000 by Tuesday, Dec. 1. The funds will enable the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute Center for Conservation in Western Asia and partners to purchase and repurpose an existing structure in Yerevan, Armenia to breed imperiled species of reptiles and amphibians. Offspring produced at the center will augment wild populations.

For project details and to donate, please visit

One of the world's biodiversity hotspots, Armenia is home to 58 species of amphibians and reptiles that are vital to Armenia's culture and ecosystem and essential to the breathtaking Armenian landscape and the people who live there. Alarmingly, 30 of those species are listed as threatened. Eleven – two amphibians and nine reptiles – that are only found in the Armenian Highlands and Lesser Caucasus Mountains are declining rapidly. Without human intervention, these species could go extinct. The time to help them is now.

For more than a decade, the Zoo's Center for Conservation in Western Asia has supported conservation and research in Armenia and has become a recognized leader for its captive work with the endangered Armenian viper.

Anticipated start date for the project is June 2016. Please donate, knowing that any contribution you make will go directly to saving Armenia's amphibians and reptiles, helping ensure zero extinction for these species vital to the nation's ecosystem.