Seeligson Conservation Fund
elephants at Fort Worth Zoo

Seeligson Conservation Fund

Arthur A. Seeligson Jr. Conservation Fund

horned lizardThe Fort Worth Zoo administers the Arthur A. Seeligson Jr. Conservation Fund (SCF). This fund supports the conservation of native Texas wildlife through grant awards that promote partnerships among scientists, educators, organizations and private landowners committed to conserving the biodiversity of Texas. In 2019 the SCF awarded funding to support an outstanding project that will identify resident and migrant populations of loggerhead shrike in the western gulf coast region of Texas to determine habitat use and develop conservation actions to reduce population decline.  The loggerhead shrike is a focal species for the Partners in Flight bird conservation plan and the project investigator will partner with Texas Master Naturalists and other volunteers to collect data. To date, the SCF has awarded more than $82,000 to support wildlife conservation projects in Texas.

Projects supported in the past include:

  • Investigating the effects of native grass restoration on populations of the state-threatened Texas horned lizard and their preferred food of harvester ants
  • Determining habitat preferences and factors that influence population dynamics and distribution of seahorses in the Texas Gulf in order to update the current conservation status of Texas Gulf seahorses and assist with future management of threatened sea grass habitat
  • Raising native milkweeds for transplanting throughout the Texas Mid-coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex and private lands which will expand food and habitat resources for monarch butterflies
  • Documenting and monitoring the insect pollinator community at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center to assess habitat restoration efforts that will promote pollinator populations in Texas
  • Monitoring and evaluating the reintroduction of Texas horned lizards to historically occupied habitat
  • Investigating habitat use, home range size and nest success of the threatened Texas horned lizard under different habitat management regimes
  • Using trained search dogs to locate Houston toads in their natural habitat to monitor populations and habitat preferences of the endangered toad
  • Habitat enhancement for northern bobwhite quail through progressive management techniques
  • Investigation of habitat use and preference of eastern and western box turtles in an urban environment
  • Assessment of ornate box turtle population genetics as a proactive conservation approach
  • Effects of introduced grasses on native Texas grassland birds
  • Captive breeding and monitoring of wild populations of endangered Houston toads
  • Researching foraging ecology of reddish egret in the Laguna Madre of Texas
  • Installation of artificial nest cavities for red-cockaded woodpecker
  • Construction of a pre-release facility for re-introducing Attwater’s prairie chicken
  • Installation of artificial roosts for Rafinesque’s big-eared bat
  • Development of a conservation strategy for alligator snapping turtle and nest protection for sea turtles

Please check back in Spring 2020 for the next request for proposals for the Seeligson Conservation Fund.

Research Mission Statement

The mission statement of the Fort Worth Zoo was approved in 1999 by the Executive Committee and Board of the Fort Worth Zoological Association.

The mission of the Fort Worth Zoo is to strengthen the bond between humans and the environment by promoting responsible stewardship of wildlife and ensuring diverse, high-quality educational and entertaining family experiences through effective and efficient management of its resources.

In keeping with the overall mission statement of the Fort Worth Zoological Park, the Zoo’s conservation research mission statement is as follows:

The Fort Worth Zoo will encourage, conduct and support conservation research projects for the betterment of animal life and ecosystems both in captivity and the wild.

To accomplish this mission, the following operational goals have been established:
  • Conservation research will focus on rare and endangered species, as well as the preservation of habitat and ecosystems and the development of scientific husbandry management practices.
  • The Fort Worth Zoo will encourage and support the involvement of staff, universities, residents, interns and students in conservation research projects.
  • Fort Worth Zoo staff will endeavor to conduct conservation research projects in cooperation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and international conservation organizations.

Fort Worth Zoo Research Requirements