Zoo New England's Grassroots Wildlife Conservation


  • Wood turtles are disappearing. Now help may be on the way. -The Boston Globe More
  • "Boston students raising turtles, learning STEM at the same time," Boston 25 News More
  • Zoo New England receives grants to support hatchling and turtle conservation headstarting program More
  • Zoo New England’s “Turtle Dog” will assist staff with local conservation field work More

Preserving Living Treasures in Our Backyard

In our increasingly crowded and busy world, many of the wondrous living treasures that grace our Earth—from rhinos and polar bears to tropical orchids—are at risk of disappearing. Equally threatened are many of the beautiful and little known animals and plants that live in your state, your town, or perhaps your own backyard.

Our mission is to work with you to help preserve some of our rare and declining species while teaching you about the diversity and wonder of the natural world around you. Come outside with us, roll up your sleeves, and help make sure that generations to come will, like you, delight in hands-on experiences with our rarer wild neighbors.

Projects & Resources


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Blanding's Turtle

Each fall, Stone Zoo hosts a group of Blanding’s turtle hatchlings, giving them a “head-start” on long-term survival.

Bridle Shiners

We've learned to care for this fish in captivity and worked with conservationists who have succeeded in breeding bridle shiners in captivity.

Eastern Spadefoot Toads

Since 2009, we've worked with Mass Audubon to restore these toads to their former range by designing and building vernal pools and headstarting toads for reintroduction to the wild.

Marbled Salamanders

We've begun the first marbled salamander reintroduction project in Massachusetts, bringing these tiny amphibians back to Metro-Boston.

Turtle Detection Dog

“Turtle Dog” Koda is being trained to locate turtles in their native habitat as part of vital conservation work to protect regionally threatened populations of turtles.

By Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

New England Blazing Star and Native Pollinators

Native pollinator species are on the decline due to habitat loss. We're helping to bring back rare wildflowers on conservation land around Middlesex county.

Spotted Turtles

We’re working to conserve the last remaining population of the locally rare spotted turtle in Boston. Biologists radiotrack turtles to document population demographics, understand habitat needs and headstart hatchlings.

Wood Turtles

Once the most common freshwater turtle in eastern Mass, the wood turtle is now state threatened. Since 2012, we've been monitoring these turtles in the wild.

Educator Resources

Support our Conservation Department with a "Special Edition" Zoodopt!