In the face of ever-declining biodiversity, zoos have a major role to play in species conservation. Written by professionals involved in in-situ conservation and restoration projects internationally, this is a critical assessment of the contribution of zoos to species conservation through evidence amassed from a wide range of sources.
The first part outlines the biodiversity context within which zoos should operate, introducing the origins and global spread of zoos and exploring animal collection composition. The second part focuses on the basic elements of keeping viable captive animal populations. It considers the consequences of captivity on animals, the genetics of captive populations and the performance of zoos in captive breeding. The final part examines ways in which zoos can make a significant difference to conservation now and in the future.
"[...] essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the role – and potential – of zoos in conservation. A critical, wide-ranging synthesis, this book sets out the potential of zoos as a component in conservation's toolkit, and addresses the challenges, biological and educational, for modern, integrated conservation. This book is the definitive text on the role of the progressive zoo in the modern world. It covers a broad range of topics from field conservation, to captive breeding, returning animals to the wild, and public education, and holds out the ultimate challenge of turning zoos into conservation centres. If you are interested in the role of zoos today, this book is a required reading."
- WAZA News
Foreword G. M. Mace
1. Biodiversity and zoo conservation biology
2. Protecting species and habitats
3. Zoos in focus - public exhibition or conservation
4. Animals in captivity
5. Viable captive populations - the numbers game
6. Captive breeding and zoos
7. Returning animals to the wild
8. Educating the public
9. Turning zoos into conservation centres
Appendix A. Commonly used abbreviations
Appendix B. Scientific names of species mentioned in the text
Appendix C. Inbreeding
Appendix D. Population sizes - definitions and implications
Appendix E. Captive breeding and genetics - definitions
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John E. Fa is Chief Conservation Officer at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Visiting Professor at the School of Biological Sciences, Imperial College London. He specialises in endangered species biology and protection and on the impact of hunting on wildlife in Africa and Latin America.
Stephan M. Funk FSB is the founder and Director of Nature Heritage, a consultancy for conservation biology and anthropology, and a Research Fellow at the University of Puerto Rico's Center for Applied Tropical Ecology and Conservation. He specialises and works worldwide in conservation biology, genetics and ecology.
Donnamarie O'Connell is Senior Training and Projects Manager at RSPCA International, responsible for running programmes in southern Africa. She has an academic background in zoology and conservation biology.