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:
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  • Their numbers increase, reducing the risk of extinction
  • Subsequently some individuals can be released into the wild or protected areas such as national parks, to maintain or re-establish wild breeding populations
  • The genetic diversity of the species is maintained
  • Reintroduction programmes: these programmes endeavour to release captive bred individuals back into the wild so that natural breeding populations can be maintained or re-established

Importance of maintaining genetic diversity during captive breeding programmes:

  • The problem is that some zoos can only have a small number of individuals, so inbreeding is likely to occur. This leads to:
  • Reduced ...

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