About the rescue of the snow leopard and the black rhino
Sustainability is firmly anchored at ZEISS. This includes commitment to nature and wildlife conservation.
In collaboration with professional associations, the company supports numerous nature conservation activities, educational programs for children and adults, and research programs to protect endangered animal species.
For example, ZEISS is committed to saving snow leopards in the Himalayas. The Irbis, whose scientific name is Panthera uncia, lives in the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia and is the most endangered big cat in the world.
Continuous deforestation and poaching have led to a dramatic decline in its population.
In the Indian Himalayan region, there are currently less than 500 individual snow leopards in the wild.
In July of this year, the ZEISS team led by Dr. Michael Kaschke, chairman of the Executive Board (CEO & President) of the ZEISS Group, visited the Himalayan region of Leh and donated spotting scopes and binoculars to Mr. Norbu, responsible for conservation, and his team at Kaalifa camp, which is dedicated to tracking snow leopards so that tourists can observe these wonderful animals in their natural habitat and the “spotters” can live off this equipment.
Learn more about snow leopards in the National Geographic Wild video:
The South African black rhino population is facing extinction.
Another project is dedicated to protecting rhinos. In 2011, Dr. Larry Hansen and Miss Xiaoyang Yu launched the annual “Rhino Conservation Award” to highlight the conservation of these beautiful creatures and the dedicated efforts of various individuals and organizations. ZEISS has been promoting this internationally renowned award since 2015.
This year’s award ceremony was held on July 21, 2019 in the Montecasino in Johannesburg. The award’s finalists included distinguished leaders such as His Royal Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, South African government officials, foreign diplomats, media outlets, sponsors, and other major NGOs working to protect rhinos.
“You know how much I care about your project, but above all how much I admire the people being honored tonight and, of course, all the rangers, the true heroes of biodiversity,” Prince Albert II of Monaco said in his speech.
Despite the ongoing attack on rhino populations across Africa, conservation efforts have delivered some successes, with national poaching statistics in South Africa showing a 25% year-over-year decline in rhino poaching in 2018. According to Andrew Campbell, chief executive officer of the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA), the number of white rhinos has almost tripled since the early 1990s and the black rhino population in Africa has almost doubled.