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Zoological gardens nowadays form a worldwide network for the protection of various species. Species conservation is increasingly accompanied by the protection of their living space, their habitats. In this way, landscapes are being conserved in the zoos under scientific supervision so that, for example, appropriate crops for feeding the animals may be grown.


Because the trade in birds has all but ground to a halt, zoological gardens operate breeding stations. Of all the bird populations, that of Southeast Asia faces the greatest danger. In this region, the loss of forests through clearing and cultivation of palm oil continues unchecked. Borneo has the oldest known rainforests, which are 300 million years old. These have levelled out as ecosystems in a steady final state and now form stable landscapes. The rainforests of Borneo serve as reference for the Basle aviary, with creatures from the planes being housed in the old building, and those of the mountains in the new building. The latter also accommodates, among others, some South American birds and butterflies.


The plants necessary for this endeavour can only be obtained from two suppliers worldwide. They originate in the Netherlands, are quarantined there, before being distributed all over the world. The systematization and distribution of plants are primarily based on the methods developed by Roberto Burle-Marx in Brazil. Whereas the sales to institutions such as the well-known Masoala Rainforest Hall at the Zurich Zoo or more recently bath and spa landscapes flourish, political causes – such as the American trade boycott – make the purchase of plants from America impossible.

This strategy has been developed for:

Zoo Basel

Location: Basel, CH

Year: 2015 - today

Lansdscape architecture: Maurus Schifferli, Bern

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