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Scientists warn: Conservation work in zoos is too random
Date:1/15/2014

in regional clusters: "With the short distance to each other, the zoos can have a large common population of, say, 250 animals distributed in the various gardens in the cluster. Such a population will be less vulnerable than a population of 50 animals in one garden without contact to other populations of the same species".

She continues:

"Such a strategic cooperation may mean that the individual zoo should focus on breeding programs for fewer endangered species, but it will provide a needed boost to the conservation work. However, these kinds of programs are only possible when zoos are part of a global network such as ISIS, where it is possible to monitor the status of threatened species across the planet's zoos. More zoos should become part of ISIS to make this planning successful." The authors point out that although conservation and breeding work in the world's zoos is an important effort, it should not take focus from the needed efforts to preserve the natural habitats of endangered animals.

"Captive breeding program are rather a conservation tool than a conservation goal. The main goal is to conserve species habitats and in fact whole ecosystems".

However, zoos are looking at captive breeding because is has been a major tool for the recovery of 20% of the 68 species that have become less threatened according to the International Union of Conservation of Nature.

"We must not expect zoos do this work alone. The protection of the animals' habitats is equally important", says Dalia Conde.


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Contact: Birgitte Svennevig
birs@sdu.dk
University of Southern Denmark
Source:Eurekalert  

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