The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Research projects on these species vary from developing and refining captive breeding methods to improving the success of releases to the wild. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL. Successful scientific research and training underpins EAZA member activities in wildlife conservation, education, … Recycling is a big part of life for the Swedish, they even invented plogging (picking up trash in nature, while Read more…, Training for Research – Training a “wild” Alpine Ibex to Wear a Collar, The African Giant Pouched Rat; An Animal Conditioned To Save Lives, 5 Reasons Animal Training Helps Conservation. The project I was involved in to save vultures from extinction in Asia was just one field conservation project that very clearly benefited from insights gained in zoos – the design and management of breeding centres was informed by the zoological world, and knowledge gained from investigating and treating disease in zoo animals proved invaluable in the wild. There is a need for greater collaboration between those at the coal face of zoological science and those managing animal collections, to ensure this connection between zoos, field conservation and public education is as tangible, genuine and widely-understood as possible. Researcher Katie Shine setting up the equipment for locomotion study of black bears at the Oregon Zoo. Hear from the team about our projects to protect the environments in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). As Ben Minteer and James Collins from Arizona State University at Tempe, USA, have explained in a recent review article, ethical considerations at the … Today, zoos don't just cater to the recreational needs of visitors, but also indulge into research and conservation of wild animals. The Zoo’s research scientists are always collecting data to better understand the animals, monitor the effects of changes to their routines, and make recommendations for improving their care. How do zoos help promote scientific research Edmonton State of Washington. Photo: Michael Durham / Oregon Zoo. For example, Oregon Zoo’s black bears have helped University of Idaho’s biologists understanding more about the locomotion of plantigrades (animals that stand with their heels flat on the ground), so they can learn how these have evolved. Zoos help research, by seeing, and recording how animals react, their behavior to new and different stimuli. Zoos can take at-risk animals, breed them in captivity, and then reintroduce them back into the wild. Through their living collections, zoos and aquariums are uniquely placed to contribute to conservation-related research. If we are to save many wild species and restore and repair ecosystems we need to know about how key species live, act and react. Zoos are focused on offering the very best possible nutrition, enrichment and environment for animals in their care. AZA’s Conservation Grants Fund provides financial support to AZA members for scientific research. The evolution of zoological institutions accompanied the scientific advances and social changes during the 20th and 21st centuries. These data is essential for the management of captive animals and can be used by professionals worldwide. The concepts of zoos as ‘arks’ can be overblown at times but, speaking as someone with a background in wildlife veterinary science, I can personally vouch for how important insights gained in zoos can be for the conservation of wildlife in the field, both in terms of understanding animal behaviour and for exploring best-practice in managing threatened species in their natural habitats. Zoos also use SSPs as research tools to better understand wildlife biology and population dynamics, and to raise awareness and funds to support field projects and habitat protection for … Scientific research is an essential part of our efforts to protect species from further decline, or even total extinction. socio-economic and field surveys) and research aimed at developing other roles of zoos and aquariums (e.g. In many cases, treatments have been developed specifically for animals. For many of the species, we have active conservation breeding programs. Ecology, behaviour and social studies are some of the research necessary to guide these in-situ activities, which include monitoring the wild population, restoring and protecting its habitat and working with the local communities. Our research on behavior, reproductive biology, nutrition, animal health and genetics is valuable to wildlife managers, field researchers and other scientists. These studies will help us understand the precise causes of complex conceptual skills in animals. A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo. In many cases, treatments have been developed specifically for animals. Hard-working zoologists understand the needs of their animals and provide the right food and care for them. Most of these projects were carried out in tandem with Nongovernmental Organisations (NGO’s) and private conservation organisations to help achieve the best results for the animals[sc:1]. However, in Britain the majority of zoos are actively involved in research, breeding and reintroduction programmes which may well help to prevent the extinction of some rare species in the wild. The many committed people at zoos care deeply about animals, working with an incredible variety of species, from one-celled creatures to elephants. With so much yet to learn, our knowledge on the natural world relies heavily on the scientific work of zoos. How are zoos helping conservation in the wild? As conservation arks for endangered species and, increasingly, as leaders in field conservation projects such as the reintroduction of captive-born animals to the wild, theyre preparing to play an even more significant role in the effort to save species in this century. Zoo research creates increased possibilities for public engagement with science. Zoos primarily deal with three aspects of conservation – practice, advocacy and research. Let’s also consider the many positive impacts that well-managed, scientific zoos can have. Professor Andrew Cunningham, Deputy Director ZSL Institute of Zoology, Find out more about ZSL's Institute of Zoology. Animals were kept in small display areas, with as many species as space would allow. Possibly the most important thing a zoo can do to help in situ conservation projects is to provide financial support. While most scientific zoos closed due to lack of funds, London Zoo survived by opening to the public in 1847. Zoos make claims about the importance of living animals for … Collecting, sharing and analysing data is an essential part of scientific research by zoological institutions. Zoos’ research collaborations go beyond the zoo community, as they are often partnered with universities and other institutions. Zoos Victoria's AEC meets every two months to assess and review the welfare and ethical considerations of research proposals where applicable. They want to actively learn more about the animals they keep, while supporting their conservation in the wild and educating the public about it. Mammals, and within these, carnivores and primates, have been the main focus of zoo research so far, despite the far wider variety of taxa housed in zoos all over the world. However, the good news is that in a recent survey (Fraser & Sickler, 2008) conducted across WAZA zoos, only nice percent of the surveyed population felt that zoos are inhumane and animal captivity is wrong. It can be difficult for conservation projects to obtain funding. Zoos also contribute to scientific research. Zoos are also working to save polar bears, tigers, and wild African elephants from habitat loss, apes and rhinos from poachers, dolphins and whales from hunters, and bees and butterflies from population declines, among many other efforts to help many other animals. These developments, unfortunately, took a toll on the natural world. This should be a fundamental aspect of any zoo or aquarium, as keeping wild animals in captivity should directly benefit those wild populations. Dr. Mark Pilgrim, Chester Zoo’s Chief Executive Officer,  travelled to Ecuador with several other Chester Zoo members to study the Ecuador Amazon Parrot. The many committed people at zoos care deeply about animals, working with an incredible variety of species, from one-celled creatures to elephants. Vaccines for rabies, canine parvovirus, distemper, and feline leukemia virus have kept many animals from contracting these fatal diseases. Animals were kept in small display areas, with as many species as space would allow. These mutually beneficial collaborations allow universities to have easier access to resources such as species, individual animals and the important knowledge of zoo professionals, while allowing zoos to further extend their involvement in the world of research and academia. 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