Conservation Lecture Series

Presented by

Media Sponsor


2020 Evening Lecture Dates

From the prairies of Big Cypress National Preserve to the rainforests of Madagascar, Naples Zoo and its staff engage in long-term efforts to conserve rare plants and animals. To better connect zoo members and visitors with these projects, the zoo welcomes researchers, directors, and biologists to present their work at the Conservation Lecture Series offered in the evenings during the winter months. Along with seeing a formal presentation in the Safari Canyon theater, guests mingle with these experts and ask questions to better understand the complexities of conservation and how each of us can contribute to making our world a better place for wildlife and people. 

CANCELED: Apr 23, 2020      Rescuing Critically Endangered Giraffe from Poachers
                              with wildlife veterinarian Dr. Sara Ferguson
                              Uganda Conservation Coordinator for Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF)

Discover the surprising threats as well as the tremendous successes to protect the critically endangered Nubian giraffe of Uganda. The northern bank of Murchison Falls National Park is home to over half the world's population. While there are a number of threats facing giraffe in this park, including the recent discovery of oil and only separated from the Democratic Republic of Congo by the mighty River Nile, poaching (mainly snaring) is one of the major threats to all wildlife including giraffe. While giraffe are not a target species, they are incidentally entangled in wire traps. GCF has supported the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to monitor giraffe numbers and movements since 2013 and more recently providing direct mobile veterinary/de-snaring and anti-poaching support. 

Another important tool to secure a sustainable future for giraffe in Uganda is to increase their range within the country by re-establishing viable satellite populations through conservation translocations. To date UWA, with support from GCF, have successfully translocated five populations in recent years – increasing the giraffe’s range by over 1 million acres in the country. See what's involved in this difficult but important work.

About Dr. Sara Ferguson
Sara is a wildlife conservation veterinarian and a graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Sara has always had a passion for African wildlife and has taken every opportunity to travel around the continent and gain knowledge and experience in wildlife medicine. In 2016, she participated in the Chemical and Physical Restraint of African Wildlife Course in Malilangwe, Zimbabwe, graduating at the top of her class. In Uganda, Sara coordinates GCF’s giraffe conservation activities with a focus on Murchison Falls National Park where she monitors for and treats giraffe (and other wildlife) with snare injuries together with an incredible and dedicated team of rangers and wildlife veterinarians from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Additionally, she works alongside local stakeholders to investigate avenues to reduce poaching incidents in the park. Sara is an associate researcher for Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, who sponsors her position.

CANCELED: Apr 30, 2020       Lions and Living Walls: Protecting Communities and Predators
                              with Dr Laly Lichtenfeld,Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
                              African People and Wildlife

Northern Tanzania is one of the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspots. In this region, more than 92 percent of the rangelands represent areas where people and wildlife interact. Operating from its field-based headquarters, African People & Wildlife (APW) partners with 35 communities across six landscapes to create effective, sustainable solutions that improve the lives of rural Africans while protecting the natural world. A key part of the organization’s programmatic focus is the Northern Tanzania Big Cats Conservation Initiative, which implements a holistic and comprehensive approach to the long-term protection of highly threatened African lions, leopards, and cheetahs. APW’s co-founder and CEO, Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld, will share success stories from Tanzania and discuss the organization’s strategic, award-winning model for community-driven conservation. 

About Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld
Laly Lichtenfeld believes in finding the balance for communities and nature. A 20-year resident of Tanzania, Laly co-founded African People & Wildlife in 2005 to help rural communities conserve and benefit from their wildlife and natural resources. Laly first traveled to the continent with the National Outdoor Leadership School in 1992. Moved by the remarkable wildlife, cultures, and landscapes of East Africa, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to evaluate a community-based conservation project in southern Kenya. In 2005, Laly received her Ph.D. from Yale University for novel research combining wildlife ecology and social ecology in an interdisciplinary study of human-lion relationships, interactions, and conflicts on the Maasai Steppe of northern Tanzania.
Laly specializes in human-wildlife conflict prevention, species conservation focusing on lions and other big cats, community empowerment and engagement in natural resource management, and the development of conservation incentives for rural people. As a female CEO in East African conservation, Laly is often one of few women at the senior leadership table, a responsibility she does not take lightly. In 2018, Laly became an invited member of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority Research Advisory Committee. She is an accomplished speaker, a Distinguished Alumna of the Yale Tropical Resources Institute, a National Geographic Explorer, a recipient of the 2016 Lowell Thomas Award for Open Space Conservation, and a 2019 Women of Discovery Awardee. In 2019, Laly was honored to be named a “Woman of Impact” by the National Geographic Society and featured among some of the world’s leading female visionaries in Women of Impact: Changing the World, a one-hour documentary aired on the National Geographic Channel.


Many thanks to SOME OF OUR RECENT inspirational speakers: