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Conservation in Zoos & Seedbanks Revision Notes

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´╗┐Zoos & Seed Bank Revision Notes Roles of zoos in conserving endangered species: * Education: informing all age groups who visit zoos of various conservation issues, including: * The illegal trade in animal products e.g. ivory * The need to maintain biodiversity * Captive breeding programmes including success stories * Scientific research: zoos, universities etc. can work together on projects that are of benefit to the conservation of animals, including * Control of diseases that are reducing populations * Behavioural studies to further appreciate the needs of animals in captivity * Development of techniques to further improve breeding success * Captive breeding programmes: these are schemes designed to encourage endangered species to breed so that: * Their numbers increase, reducing the risk of extinction * Subsequently ...read more.


This leads to: * Reduced genetic diversity and therefore, a reduced chance of adapting to environmental change * Increased risk of a genetic condition becoming more common in the breeding population Techniques used to reduce inbreeding: * Do not allow organisms to repeatedly breed with the same partner, possibly by isolating partners * Select partner, possibly by adding another partner to a cage, IVF or inter zoo swapping * Keep a record of individuals in captivity and their breeding history e.g. stud books so that choice of partners is controlled Role of seed backs in conserving endangered species: * Seeds from a variety of endangered plants can be stored in a dormant state in seed banks. ...read more.


formed embryos: this only allows seed that could germinate to be selected for storage * Seeds dried to remove water: reducing water content increases the time a seed can be stored for and remain viable * Seeds stored in the cold e.g. -20C: reducing the temperature also increases the length of time a seed can be stored and remain viable * Some seeds periodically germinated to check viability: some are checked to see if they will still germinate * If less than 75% germinate, those that did germinate are left to grow into a mature plant that will produce their own seeds which are then stored * If 75% or more germinate, the remaining seeds are retained in cold storage and will be checked again for viability. ...read more.

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