• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the extent to which zoo's can play a role in the conservation of endangered species.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the extent to which zoo's can play a role in the conservation of endangered species. The answer to this question is very controversial. In recent years, as more people are becoming aware of the suffering of zoo animals, zoos have been finding it extremely hard to justify their existence. Many groups believe that the true purpose for the existence of zoos is not to conserve a diversity of species within the animal and plant kingdoms, as some groups believe, but exploiting the animals largely for public viewing. Zoos claim they have important roles in education, conservation and research, but I believe that this is only to a certain extent. As far as education goes, the 'Born Free' organisation says that while the showing of wild films and documentaries can generate an active interest, the physical presence of the zoo animals is 'usually unnecessary'. ...read more.

Middle

As far as research goes, Born Free state that only a handful of zoos are involved in viable research and much of which is devoted to the study of physiology and is primarily aimed at keeping species in captivity, not how better to conserve species in their natural habitat. Results from captive studies therefore have limited benefits to the species in the wild. On the other hand, many western zoos pursue a central role in solving the problem of worldwide declines in biodiversity by participating in endangered species conservation programs and environmental education programs. There are now more zoo-based captive breeding programs than ever before, which aims to assist species' restoration by placing individuals from captive populations into the wild to sustain the size and genetic variability, as found by the University of Yale, US. ...read more.

Conclusion

However I also believe that this is only to a certain extent and that there are also many negative aspects, which these agencies fail to take into account. Having been to a zoo, I have observed that these organisations restrict the full use of the animal's abilities and senses, these animals are not given the freedom they would experience in the wild, and that the isolation and artificial environments affects the animal's natural behaviour. Zoos often show a distorted picture of wild animals. Zoo animals live in unnatural conditions, many of which display unnatural behaviours. Wild animals lead complex and unpredictable lives, and each species has evolved to ideally meet the challenges of its environment and I believe that these zoos can do little to properly replicate this with their animal displays. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Zoology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Zoology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    What is a species?

    4 star(s)

    This is how, in practice, taxonomists recognise species. An advantage it has over BSC is that it can be applied to asexual organisms and fossils. However, the MSC does have some difficulties of its own. For example, some organisms use a mechanism known as Batesian mimicry. This is where one innocuous species (mimic)

  2. Analysis of Charles Darwin's theory of origin of the species

    Where, throughout these millions of years of change and variance, did the bodies of the intermediaries go? This is the strongest argument for the creationist viewpoint. I say this for two reasons: one, it's a very good question, and two, no one in Darwin's day and no one in ours has a good answer.

  1. The role of Zoos.

    Research in captivity is done in conjunction with research in the wild but there are some questions that can only be answered in captivity, questions that further work in the wild and in conservation, so zoos are especially important. Without research in captivity or that funded by zoos the success of conservation work would be jeopardized.

  2. The Implications of the UK's Climate Change Policy on Biodiversity

    In which case, anticipation measures and suppression efforts are not a good idea. Though, it is advised that non-native species displaying invasive characteristics driven by climate change should be monitored and contingency plans put in place. Also invasive non-native species are the second greatest threat to biodiversity in the UK after climate change.

  1. Report on the Pro's and Con's of zoos

    Animals bred in captivity and their young always attract visitors and appeal to them, but these animals do get old. Older animals no longer do 'funny' things and are a lot less active. These animals quite often are disposed of either being shot or sold into the pet trade.

  2. Discuss the importance of human activities in maintaining the biodiversity of semi-natural ecosystems. Include ...

    Grazed: Persisted as original chalk grassland Clipped: no species were lost, but proportions changed. His experiments showed that management maintained the biodiversity of the grassland. Species richness of much grassland is threatened by succession. The science and art of grassland management is to arrest/ and or harness the succession process

  1. To what extent we can say animals have language

    named the objects after seeing them on the picture having a prior knowledge of the object from a different situation. Semanticity is also present in her use of sign "more". Firstly, she associated this sign only with tickling situation but later she used it to demand "more" food (Aitchison, 1989).

  2. Using the Grounded Theory to explore people's views on animal use: What factors influence ...

    It seems that smaller sub categories such as size, colour, general appearance and attractiveness of the animal all seem to influence people's attitudes towards the animal and therefore maybe animal use. For example one participant says "I think it's a matter of how far up the evolutionary chain you are.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work