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Santa Barbara Zoo & CSUCI announce plans for campus conservation center

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Posted at 5:27 PM, Apr 06, 2023

The Santa Barbara Zoo and California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) have announced a partnership for a zoo-owned and managed conservation center on the CSUCI campus.

Zoo officials in a press release said this will enrich academic opportunities for students and enhance wildlife conservation, research, and outreach throughout the region.

“By partnering with a world-class zoo right here in our backyard, we are strengthening our commitment to being a ‘conservation campus’ on the Central Coast,” said Richard Yao, CSUCI president, in a press release.

Zoo officials said in a press release that the partnership resolves the zoo’s urgent need for more space in which to expand its wildlife conservation efforts. In the coming years, the zoo plans to shift the majority of its conservation activities and staff to the conservation center at CSUCI.

CSUCI has identified a 60,000-square-foot site on the western edge of the campus near Modoc Hall that is ideal for the zoo’s needs.

Under the agreement, CSUCI will lease the land to the zoo and the zoo will own the conservation center buildings and facilities.

Preliminary plans for the site include classroom and meeting spaces, offices for conservation staff, pens for animal care, containment, and breeding, native plant gardens, and spaces for the public to enjoy and participate in the conservation center.