Parc Zoologique et Forestier Michel Corbasson

Name of case study

Parc Zoologique et Forestier Michel Corbasson

Location

Nouméa, New Caledonia

Year

1972

Scale

suburb/neighbourhood scale

Area / size

36 hectares

NbS employed

Urban wildlife sanctuaries

Type of NbS

Created or constructed living ecosystems; Ecosystem restoration; Ecosystem protection

Initiator

Service des eaux et forêts (Water and Forest service) of New Caledonia.

Funder

Province Sud (South Province) New Caledonia

Budget

Not available

Design group

ervice des eaux et forêts (Water and Forest service) of New Caledonia.

Low perimeter fence and entrance to Kagu enclosure. Photo by Joerubin via Atlas obscura
Kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus). Photo by Animalia. CC-A-SA 3.0 https://animalia.bio/kagu
Climate change benefits
  • Biodiversity health and conservation
  • Reduced air quality
  • Changes in phenology
Societal / socio-cultural benefits
  • Empowerment/equality
Ecological benefits
  • Biological control
  • Education and knowledge
  • Genetic resources (diversity)
  • Habitat provision
  • Purification
  • Species maintenance

Summary of case study

Parc Zoologique et Forestier is a legally protected area that is a zoological and forest park. It houses exotic and native flora and fauna (many endangered) in Nouméa, the capital city of New Caledonia (Parc Zoologique et Forestier Michel Corbasson, 2019). The park is unique in that it occupies a central urban location alongside the CBD, being enclosed by industry to the Northeast and suburban housing surrounding other sides.

One key, endangered (IUCN red list) species housed in the park is the Kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus), a unique flightless bird, and the only surviving member of its genus (Palmas et al., 2020). New Caledonia overall exhibits high endemism among birds, reptiles and invertebrates (New Caledonia: Species, 2024). 

The park also shelters one of very few dry forest remnants, a highly threatened environment worldwide, with less than 1% of the ecosystem’s land cover remaining in New Caledonia (Parc Provincial Zoologique et Forestier, 2021). Being adapted to specific climatic conditions, and relying on a long, dry season, these ecosystems are particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change, and changes in phenology. Dry forest remnants like Parc Zoologique et Forestier are important for species maintenance, especially of rare and endangered plants, like the native Pittosporum tanianum (New Hope for New Caledonia’s Dry Forest, 2018), as well as the many, diverse endemic bird, insect and reptile species in New Caledonia. 

Alongside housing endemic species, the park contains a selection of exotic animals, features a created lake and wetland (Parc Zoologique et Forestier Michel Corbasson, 2019), and provides ecosystem services similar to blue-green spaces. As a zoological park, it provides information on the species it houses, improving understanding and education about native plants and animals, and it opportunities for recreation, connection to nature and human wellbeing (Anderson & Minor, 2017; Cameron et al., 2020).

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References
  • Anderson, E. C., & Minor, E. S. (2017). Vacant lots: An underexplored resource for ecological and social benefits in cities. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 21, 146–152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2016.11.015
  • Cameron, R.W.F., Brindley, P., Mears, M., McEwan, K., Ferguson, F., Sheffield, D., Jorgensen, A., Riley, J., Goodrick, J., Ballard, L., & Richardson, M. (2020). Where the wild things are! Do urban green spaces with greater avian biodiversity promote more positive emotions in humans? Urban Ecosystems, 23(2), 301–317. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-020-00929-z
  • New Caledonia: Species. (2024). Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. Available online: https://www.cepf.net/our-work/biodiversity-hotspots/new-caledonia/species. Date accessed May 15, 2024.
  • New hope for New Caledonia’s dry forest. (2018, December 12). WWF. Available online: https://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/?340112/New-hope-for-New-Caledonias-dry-forest. Date accessed May 15, 2024.
  • Palmas, P., Jourdan, H., Debar, L., Bourguet, E., Rigault, F., Bonnaud, E., & Vidal, E. (2020). A conservation paradox: Endangered and iconic flightless kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus) apparently escape feral cat predation. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 44(1). https://doi.org/10.20417/nzjecol.44.1
  • Parc Provincial Zoologique et Forestier. (2021). Province Sud. Available online:  https://www.province-sud.nc/pandoreweb/app/parc/PPZF. Date accessed May 15, 2024.
  • Parc Zoologique et Forestier Michel Corbasson (Zoological and Forest Park). (2019, November 27). Atlas Obscura. Available online: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/parc-zoologique-et-forestier-michel-corbasson. Date accessed May 15, 2024.

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