It was Cincinnati Zoo’s commitment to research that allowed this institution to breed the first Sumatran rhino calf in over 100 years, in 2001. Today, zoos are meant to entertain and educate the public but have a strong emphasis on scientific research and species conservation. These are incredibly complex programmes that require extensive research and planning, to maximise not only the breeding success of the captive animals but also the survival of these, when reintroduced. This should be a fundamental aspect of any zoo or aquarium, as keeping wild animals in captivity should directly benefit those wild populations. Not all Zoos and Aquariums are equal. Zoos primarily deal with three aspects of conservation – practice, advocacy and research. Capturing video helps the scientists look for patterns and record enrichment activities. Subscribe to email updates from ZSL and expect to hear about: The Zoological Society of London is incorporated by Royal Charter - Registered Charity in England and Wales no. Working for a research institution linked to one of the world’s most famous zoos means we’re able to see first-hand the impact zoos have on conservation, with global research projects benefitting from the input and support from zoos. Early zoos like the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes were more like museums of living animals than natural habitats. Protected contact and small steps helped us on the way to reach the Read more…, Cover Photo Credit: Aaron Gekoski My passion for training animals for conservation purposes is starting to grow. 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]. to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in animals – including zoonoses – and to the management of the health of animals in wild and captive settings. Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo! 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. It presents articles and reports on practices that demonstrably enhance the welfare of wildlife, companion animals and animals used in research, agriculture and zoos. When an animal gets sick, these experts know what treatments and medicines to give them in order to help them get better. Our research on behavior, reproductive biology, nutrition, animal health and genetics is valuable to wildlife managers, field researchers and other scientists. Scientific research is an essential part of our efforts to protect species from further decline, or even total extinction. The many committed people at zoos care deeply about animals, working with an incredible variety of species, from one-celled creatures to elephants. They want to actively learn more about the animals they keep, while supporting their conservation in the wild and educating the public about it. 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. However, this issue has been highlighted several times in scientific reviews and commentaries, and zoos will certainly make a joint effort to expand their research focus in order to cover more and more of the species they house. How are zoos helping conservation in the wild? Zoos Victoria is committed to promoting the recovery of 27 local threatened species that are on the brink of extinction. How they live, teaches people stuff that is impossible to see just by glancing. Vaccines for rabies, canine parvovirus, distemper, and feline leukemia virus have kept many animals from contracting these fatal diseases. Studying zoo-housed flamingos also allowed Paul Rose, a PhD student at the University of Exeter, to identify a behaviour that had never been seen in these animals before: the deliberate barging into another bird without being provoked. Scientific research at KBG focuses on different projects. In the process, they're giving scientists the tools they need to protect wildlife in a rapidly changing world. In the modern era, zoos and aquariums fight species extinction, educate communities, and advance learning of animal behaviour. They do, however, need to keep pushing themselves to demonstrate and communicate the impacts their work is having on the ground, including the incorporation of public outreach both locally and at conservation field sites. Animals were kept in small display areas, with as many species as space would allow. This research is fundamental to further understand how polar bears are coping with the on-going melting of the sea ice, caused by climate change. The use of animals in scientific research has made, and continues to make, significant contributions to the biological sciences; e.g. Certainly standards of animal welfare, enrichment and conservation work in the zoos of many developed countries have come on leaps and bounds in recent decades, but there are still sadly zoos in some parts of the world where radical improvements in animal welfare and management are required. To the zoos that do this, again I applaud you. Supported by several zoos, Polar Bears International is tracking the polar bear movements and sea ice extensions in Hudson Bay. For example, in 2006, the CG… Modern zoos are now committed to promoting welfare of animals through the implementation of high standards concerning housing, sanitation, nutrition, ethology and veterinary care. Certainly this is a question that even I still ask myself occasionally, two years away from my 30 year anniversary as a veterinarian and conservation scientist within the Zoological Society of London’s academic faculty, the Institute of Zoology. Conservation practice entails captive breeding, species reintroduction programs, Species survival plans and the use of zoo revenue for conservation programs in the wild. 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]. Reintroduction projects have been carried out by a number of institutions, which work closely with each other, by either totally restoring a population or boosting it using captive-bred animals. Today, zoos are meant to entertain and educate the public but have a strong emphasis on scientific research and species conservation. Read testimonials from our Members and extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About. In short, while zoos do provide a critical reservoir for endangered species, many other animals may yet become endangered very soon, or already are and we don’t know about it. They are essential in many ways - but only the good zoos. Early zoos like the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes were more like museums of living animals than natural habitats. They offer the … Zoos are in a unique position to make a difference. Since then, other successful births have happened, at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, a long-term partner of Cincinnati Zoo in the fight to protect this critically endangered species. Many zoos are committed to conservation efforts and answering applied questions about veterinary care and welfare. Research activities must conform to research policy and guidelines set out by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. These developments, unfortunately, took a toll on the natural world. Peter is a passionate Animal Consultant that beside teaching you about Operant Conditioning makes sure you will go home motivated and inspired. Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971, and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan or national interests. The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) has over 400 members. Hard-working zoologists understand the needs of their animals and provide the right food and care for them. While most scientific zoos closed due to lack of funds, London Zoo survived by opening to the public in 1847. Many species have been in captivity for a long time, but there is still little scientific work on them, and their husbandry is often based on generalisations and tradition. Scientific Research Few zoos finance research that may benefit their animal occupants and by far the majority of zoos have neither the means nor the will to carry out research. Also, even though ex-situ measures are extremely valuable in wildlife conservation, they must always be a supplementary tool to strong in-situ efforts, which are themselves linked to more research, as mentioned above. Successful scientific research and training underpins EAZA member activities in wildlife conservation, education, … The exotic, the unfamiliar, the bizarre have always been an object of attraction and study; and perhaps this originated the wish of keeping exotic animals. Zoos and partner organizations conduct animal welfare research to evaluate how animals in their care see (or hear or smell) the world and what behaviors motivate them. Scientific investigation and experimentation in zoos can provide useful data for the management of both wild and captive populations. 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. Zoos also contribute to scientific research. 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. The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield. Through their living collections, zoos and aquariums are uniquely placed to contribute to conservation-related research. 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. Being able to study animals in zoos … Scientific Research Zoo Science Wildlife biologists, nutritionists, behaviorists, endocrinologists and other specialists at the Zoo use science to save threatened and endangered wildlife. This is a collection of articles on zoos from the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS).JAAWS is the leading peer-reviewed journal on the science of animal welfare for veterinarians, scientists and public policy makers. Zoos’ research collaborations go beyond the zoo community, as they are often partnered with universities and other institutions. “Zoo” is short for zoological park, and zoology is the scientific study of animal biology and behavior. Multi-institutional cooperation allows to collectively make scientific breakthroughs, by providing data that serve as a base to fill gaps in scientific knowledge. Today, zoos don't just cater to the recreational needs of visitors, but also indulge into research and conservation of wild animals. Supported by several zoos, Polar Bears International is tracking the polar bear movements and sea ice extensions in Hudson Bay. An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation. It’s only when people with the same purpose are willing to work together that great progress is achieved. Zoos do a lot for their animals. Knowledge is always a powerful weapon to have on our side, despite having any immediate applications or not. For that reason, zoo animals are more than ambassadors for their wild counterparts; they're aiding in … Supplementation with primate biscuits, cod liver oil, boiled eggs, multivitamins and mineral syrup were found to further ensure a more complete nutritional regime for the captive proboscis monkeys. In 2007, he was relocated to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia to breed with a female. It serves no good to portray ourselves as safe harbours for animals, if we are unable to provide them with great animal care. Lastly, zoos help endangered populations by using captive breeding and release. Scientific research is in the DNA of Antwerp ZOO and Planckendael ZOO. Research projects on these species vary from developing and refining captive breeding methods to improving the success of releases to the wild. Professor Andrew Cunningham, Deputy Director ZSL Institute of Zoology, Find out more about ZSL's Institute of Zoology. Studies are sometimes better able to be completed in zoos because of the controlled environment of a zoo. It was the curious nature of man and the desire to acquire knowledge that allowed evolution in the first place and drove us to seek information about what we don’t know, and what we have never seen. This serves no one but the business. [ … Please give what you can. The “Gold Dollar” tobacco cultivar was successfully introduced from the USA by KBG. The development of guidelines and the sharing of such information is the key to creating a species-specific management model, allowing the survival of captive animals kept worldwide. Vaccines for rabies, canine parvovirus, distemper, and feline leukemia virus have kept many animals from contracting these fatal diseases. Conservation and research. In many cases, treatments have been developed specifically for animals. (Picture: Chester Zoo). 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