We have a strong research department and support many projects every year at all levels from undergraduate through to postdoctoral studies. We are keen to promote research, particularly if it benefits animal welfare and conservation.
Most researchers come to the zoo to study our animals. We have the largest collection of primate species of any zoo in the world, outside Japan. Twycross is the only UK zoo to hold all 4 species of great ape, including bonobos. We also have a very successful breeding record and many of our primates can be observed in breeding groups with individuals of various ages and stages of development.
Many of the other species at Twycross Zoo are endangered in the wild, and are in captive breeding programmes for conservation purposes. We have more than 1000 animals from approximately 250 species, but many are in small groups and may not be suitable for research projects. Our website has details of the entire animal collection, but you will have to check suitability and availability with us.
The majority of enclosures allow good observation of the animals. Most animals have indoor and outdoor enclosures and animals are generally observable in both environments. However, from time to time, animals may have to be off-show for welfare reasons.
We have particular interest in the following areas:
- Enclosure usage and activity budgets.
- Behaviour and social interactions.
- Communication and vocalisations.
In addition to animal-based projects we welcome interest in research in the following areas:
- We have a strong education department that teaches around 38,600 school pupils and university and college students a year.
- We are a large tourist destination for the East Midlands.
- We contribute to in-situ conservation across the world.
- We aim to operate as sustainably as we can, adopting novel green technologies wherever feasible.
- We have a large site surrounded by farmland and aim to maintain, and potentially increase, the native biodiversity of the site.
To arrange a study at Twycross you need to:
- Have an idea for a study.
- Have done some reading and have a good plan of what you would like to do.
- Contact the Research Officer by email or post, well in advance of the planned study, to discuss your ideas. If they are not entirely possible we can help with suggestions for refinements.
- Arrange a visit if possible. You will find it helpful to see the facilities and meet the keepers.
The Research Officer will supply the appropriate form which must be completed and returned. Please note that approval for the project from the zoo management may take several weeks and not all projects are suitable.
Entrance to the zoo is free for researchers while they are carrying out research and for preliminary visits, as long as these have been organised with the Research Officer in advance.
Should you want to do a research project with us, please make sure that you allow plenty of time before your start date (about 6-7 weeks) in order for the application to be processed.
For ideas for suitable zoo projects see the BIAZA resources for researchers: http://www.biaza.org.uk.
Contact Details: email: firstname.lastname@example.org.