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The Conservation Mission of Zoos

Categories: Zoo

Breeding Programmes – When endangered species are encouraged to breed together in places like zoos to help conserve their species.
Endangered species – a species of animal that’s at serious risk of extinction.

Breeding programmes for Endangered species

These are necessary to help conserve a species to prevent them from going extinct and it means that eventually they can be reintroduced back into the wild. It means that fewer animals need to be transported from the wild for the zoo.

Stages of a breeding programme:

  • Identify the certain animals within a species with desirable traits to breed
  • Use these animals for reproduction.

  • Animals should be reintroduced into the wild
  • Research and logging of their genetic diversity in zoos and the wild (to see if numbers are increasing.
  • Monitor the health of these animals.

An example of a breeding programme is for pandas as due to habitat loss and low breeding rate of only one cub every two year they have now become endangered.

At the breeding centres, researchers help the mother take care of the cub ensuring both their survivals. There were 422 captive pandas bred at the end of 2015.

Breeding programmes for the Przewalski horses in Ukraine, China and Kazakhstan.

Protection and regeneration of rare habitats

  • Coral reefs are being conserved by  mapping and monitoring coral reefs
  • Researching the causes of coral degradation including pollution and overfishing

For example, they found harmful algal blooms which smother reefs and can cause coral bleaching.

  • Being sustainable and promoting conservation of these reefs.

Mangroves are also being conserved by people planting saplings and reducing the loss of mangroves for agricultural purposes and mangrove trees being used for wood.

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Reintroduction of field margins and hedgerows

Hedgerow – a border of rough shrubs and trees typically bordering a road or a field. These hedgerows are being removed to make room for more farmland which would increase yield and profits. This has a devastating effect on biodiversity and hedgerows offer shelter and shade for livestock, especially during the harsh winter months. They increase habitat and food opportunities for pollinators and bird species.

Costa Rican rainforest which makes up 5% of the world’s biodiversity is being protected through Government laws to reduce logging for things like agricultural purposes. The government also give forest protection certificates to landowners, to ensure sustainable use of the forest.

Kyoto Protocol

International agreement linked to the UN projects on climate change which set goals for countries to reduce emissions. Countries must meet their targets through national measure however there are the kyoto mechanisms in place which help parties meet their targets in a cost-effective way.

There are 192 parties that have signed this agreement including Uk, USA, Australia, European countries (Latvia, Lithuania).

Recycling resources

Materials that can be easily recycled include glass, paper, aluminium cans.
Methane generators use the decomposition of items in a landfill to provide us with fuel. Together the methane and carbon dioxide produced are called biogas. This is then burned for cooking or heating.

Cite this page

The Conservation Mission of Zoos. (2020, Sep 09). Retrieved from

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