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What is it?
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (DWCT) was founded in 1963 by a famous naturalist called Gerald Durrell. Its mission is to save endangered animals from extinction, partly by breeding them in captivity at its zoo in the Channel Islands.
How did DWCT become involved with the Antiguan Racer Conservation Project?

The people at DWCT are experts at breeding extremely rare animals and re-introducing them into the wild. They are particularly famous for their work with endangered reptiles and amphibians. Everyone realised that breeding the Antiguan racer in captivity would call for special skills and facilities. DWCT was the obvious choice for such a difficult job.

In early 1996, five Antiguan racers were captured and flown to Jersey in specially prepared boxes. On arrival, they were handed over to Richard Gibson, the man in charge of reptiles and amphibians at Jersey Zoo. The first ever attempt to breed the Antiguan racer in captivity was about to begin (see Safety Net).

 

John Hartley of DWCT, visiting Great Bird Island
Why does DWCT think it's important to save the Antiguan racer?
The five racers, ready for transfer to their new home
 

Richard Gibson says:'It is important to save all species on this planet. Without biodiversity the world would be a less interesting place. Many reptiles and amphibians found only in the Caribbean have already disappeared because of introduced predators and habitat loss. Others will disappear too, but it is important that we save as many as we can. Reptiles and amphibians receive less than their fair share of the international conservation effort. Helping the racer and publicising our success will also help to increase awareness and raise funds for these other species.'

To find out more about DWCT's work,
visit their website at: www.durrell .org
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