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CONSERVATON BIOLOGY Lecture14 – Spring 2014 Althoff Reference Chapter 14. Zoos and Gardens. Zoos and Gardens. Typically, they house considerable biodiversity Require considerable skilled husbandry to maintain healthy, viable individuals

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CONSERVATON BIOLOGYLecture14 – Spring 2014 Althoff Reference Chapter 14

Zoos and Gardens

zoos and gardens
Zoos and Gardens
  • Typically, they house considerable biodiversity
  • Require considerable skilled husbandry to maintain healthy, viable individuals
  • Always have served 3 major functions: 1) ______________ 2) ______________ 3) ______________
  • More recently, become important centers for a specialized form of biodiversity conservation: 4) _______ conservation
ex situ conservation
Ex situ conservation
  • …is conservation that takes place ________ of a species’ natural habitat
  • Contrasts ______ conservation (conservation within a species’ natural habitat)
changing roles
Changing Roles
  • Wealthy (King Solomon, Louis XIV, Michael Jackson, etc.) have collected exotic creatures for millenia…driven by same basic motivation as stamp collectors: it is entertaining diversion from day-to-day life.
  • Annually, about ___ million visitors come to zoos and aquariums (~ 10% of earth’s population)
  • Annually, about ___ million visitors come to botanical gardens.
  • Collectively, more combined attendance than all professional baseball, basketball, hockey, and football games
changing roles con t
Changing Roles…con’t
  • Early on, zoo put on “shows” to entertain the visitors.
  • Recently, “shows” are uncommon and more emphasis is put on __________________

a) display more “natural” in appearance/ design

b) exhibits have more signage with species info including distribution maps/info c) more focus “conserving” these species

changing roles con t1
Changing Roles…con’t
  • Many biologists work at zoos
  • Biologists are typically a _______ lot…..
  • Result: our understanding of physiology, diseases, reproductive biology, nutrition, and genetic disorders have been garnered from captive populations
  • We’ve learned how to ______ these animals better: use of tranquilizers, testing and refinement of radio telemetry collars, implants, etc.
  • We’ve learned about the problems associated with _________ with records keep and evaluated
noah s ark
Noah’s Ark
  • Conveys a simple justification: many species would not exist today if they had not been taken from the wild and kept in captivity: examples include

California condor

Black-footed ferret

  • Others we’ve “banked” some genetic stock: ex. black, white, and Indian rhinos
noah s ark not so lucky
Noah’s Ark…not so lucky
  • Several species’ last know individuals ____ in zoos/captivity….


dusky seaside sparrow

passenger pigeon


pink-headed duck


studbooks and pedigrees
Studbooks and Pedigrees
  • Provide starting point for developing/increasing captive populations….in some cases with intent of providing stock to be released back into the wild when ______________ is available
  • Challenge here is maintain genetic diversity but minimize the “____________” selection
  • Attempt to avoid sibling matings
  • Currently, 1190 studbooks in use, covering 836 species…with another 300 species in the process of having studbooks available
  • Some development, too, of similar databases for plants
  • Typically, has been accomplished by physically pairing up animals
  • Advances in extraction of sperm have in some instances eliminated the need for transport of individuals cross-country….thus, artificial insemination techniques have become valuable by saving stress on individuals and transportation costs
  • Embryo transfer techniques are being developed to also cut costs and maximize breeding opportunities
genetic material
Genetic Material
  • Storing genetic material possible by freezing tissue at -70oC and extracting DNA at a later date…
  • or extract and purify now, then storing it a room temperature in vials of inert gases
  • Can we get to the Jurassic Park situation….???

a) not likely for extinct species with small fragments of DNA b) more likely for extinct species for which have/find frozen tissue (like the woolly mammoth) or recent extinct species (like the thylacine)

augmenting wild gene pools
Augmenting wild gene pools…
  • This approach has lots of merit with existing wild populations are down to few individuals.
  • Example to consider might be the cheetah
  • Could release _____________….
  • …or could transfer ______________________
  • This requires close monitoring of both the number of individuals in the wild and their gene pools…

and it is likely to be, on occasion, controversial to supplement a “wild” gene pool as others could argue it was “_________________.”

in summary
In summary..
  • It is important that _______ and _______ conservation programs be carefully integrated with one another so that ex situ populations can:

1) be _________ against loss of natural populations

2) direct _____________ to conservation of wild populations through education, research, and funding

3) be a source for _______________ projects