Barcelona Zoo opens its new Invertebrates Space to raise the profile of this group of animal species

08/06/2022
Imatge
Press conference at the Zoo at the Inauguration of the Invertebrate Space

Boasting an area of 300m2, the new facility reproduces the habitats and climate conditions required for 33 different species 

The space has been designed especially for family visits. It also includes a laboratory for visitors to watch research projects and reproductive support work carried out there 

In line with the New Zoo Model, the Invertebrates Space is aimed at raising awareness, educating and launching conservation projects on a group of species hardly ever represented in preservation and outreach programmes.

To discover the diversity of existing invertebrate species and emphasise the importance of these animals for life on our planet. These are the main goals of Barcelona Zoo’s Invertebrates Space. The facility, which will open to the public tomorrow, covers an area of 300 square metres dedicated to giving greater visibility to awareness-raising, educational and conservation projects on invertebrates, which represent 97% the world’s animal species and are the basis for biodiversity and balance in ecosystems. 

The Invertebrates Space brings together 33 species distributed in 30 separate facilities, including terrariums and aquariums. Visitor routes are divided into five large areas: Mediterranean, Forest, Island, Butterfly and Domestic. The latter will give visitors a close-up of the features of invertebrate species living in our homes, in everyday spaces such as closets, terraces and gardens.

Insects, arachnids, myriapods and crustaceans are the star attractions of a facility technically conceived to reproduce the habitat of the species it hosts and the climate conditions they develop in. Notable examples include scorpions, empusa and insects such as bees, which have an open facility enabling them to pollinate plants out in the open air. Also included are endangered species in Catalonia such as triops, one of the oldest genus of animals on the planet.

The biggest facility in the Invertebrates Space is the butterfly park, where visitors can observe and learn about the metamorphosis process in butterflies. It also includes a visible laboratory for the public. Maintenance and support work will be carried out there for the reproduction and growth of species with special requirements. Research and conservation projects will also be conducted in the lab in collaboration with the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) and the Iberian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AIZA). 

An educational visit that fits in with the New Zoo Model

The new Invertebrates Space fits in with the New Zoo Model, which is committed to education, research and conservation. Visits to the Space have been specially designed for families. The tour, which lasts some 30 minutes on average, will be made by small groups.

The Space includes a sound ambience, graphic resources, interactive features and various audiovisual pieces, among numerous other media that will be periodically renovated and expanded. What's more, by using QR codes, visitors will be able to download a guide on the species found in the facility in Catalan, Spanish and English. All the interpretative features contain information for children, teenagers and adults, aiming to raise awareness, among all visitor profiles, of these species and, in this case, of the importance of invertebrates and their contribution to nature. 

Barcelona Zoo will be designing new family activities and educational visits for schools around this new facility. 

The Invertebrates Space is dedicated to the North American biologist and thinker, Edward Osborne Wilson, who died in 2021. The recipient of the 2007 International Catalonia Prize, Wilson was an honorary professor of Comparative Zoology at the University of Harvard and the person responsible for the introduction of such terms as biodiversity, social behaviour, reproductive success and genetic kinship. In addition, he launched numerous research projects on biological evolution and the use of pheromones as a means of communication among ants.