Covering around 15 hectares, the Parc Zoologique de Paris is now home to 180 animal species and 870 plant species. It’s an exotic place where the public can watch animals interact with other members of their species and the world of plants around them.
The Parc Zoologique de Paris is now home to 180 animal species, including 74 birds, 42 mammals, 21 reptiles, 17 amphibians, 15 fish and 11 insects and arachnids. The park is divided into five biozones: Patagonia (7 species), Savanna-Sahel (44 species), Europe (28 species), Guiana (67 species) and Madagascar (30 species). What’s more, most of the species are placed in multispecific (or mixed) enclosures, to recreate the animals’ natural environments.
The Parc Zoologique de Paris also has a collection of plants (particularly thanks to its tropical greenhouse, covering 4,000 m2 and standing 16 m tall), which provides greater immersion and comfort for the animals, and highlights the importance of plants. A total of 870 plant species can be found here, with over 150,000 young plants including 4,000 in the greenhouse.
The Parc Zoologique de Paris was inaugurated in June 1934 by the President of the Republic, Albert Lebrun. A complete renovation of the park began in 2008, and it was closed until April 2014. At the time, the zoo was home to 200 animal species, almost all of which were mammals. Its renovation was a chance to introduce greater biodiversity in the choice of species present: mammals, birds, invertebrates and even fish now live at the Parc Zoologique de Paris. The entire makeup of the collection was therefore given an overhaul. Some species, because they were considered too large for example, were not reintroduced after the renovation, in favour of other species requiring less space. The choice of species had to take account of the available space, but also the public appeal of the species as well as their need for protection.
The Parc Zoologique de Paris is a tool for reconnecting with nature (particularly by removing visual obstructions between the animal and the visitor as much as possible) and for preserving biodiversity. The renovations enabled the emphasis to be placed on interactions between the animal and its environment (animal/vegetal). It is therefore an educational place for raising visitor awareness of the need to respect the environment and protect biodiversity. It is also involved in many endangered species conservation programmes. At the time of its reopening in 2014, the park contributed to 44 European Breeding Programmes (i.e. around 25% of the species represented), and leads 6 of them. Amongst other things, it takes part in the lemur conservation programme in Madagascar. The park is also an establishment that helps to advance research, particularly in taxonomy and genetics, physiology of reproduction, veterinary sciences, ethology and museology.