The Contribution of Zoos Towards Wildlife Conservation
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

The Contribution of Zoos Towards Wildlife Conservation

Throughout history humans have made life for many species of animals difficult, and in order to compensate for it, zoos advocate animal welfare and greatly help the maintenance of this planet's biodiversity.

556
The Contribution of Zoos Towards Wildlife Conservation
San Diego Zoo

Humans have caused many species of animals to go extinct, and have pushed many others to the brink of it. Luckily, in order to combat the rapid rate of animal mortality caused by coexisting with humans, zoos operate towards a mission to conserve wildlife and improve the welfare of animals worldwide.

Over the last 47 years, the wild population of vertebrates has declined by 58 percent, and sadly, it is all due to us. Humans are hard to coexist with because as our population grows, more animals lose their homes or food sources. Losing needed sources and lacking places to live in is causing a tremendous shock in the wildlife population today. Habitat loss is the leading reason behind the alarmingly rapid decline of animal populations, and accounts for an 80 percent loss in biodiversity.

Even with the strongest efforts, controlling the rate of which humans destroy animals’ habitats is near to impossible due to the fast increase of the human population, consumerism, and recklessness. However, if we are unable to stop habitats from being destroyed, the least we can do is build them for animals to safely live in.

That is where zoos come in. Many people give zoos a bad name and wrongfully try to belittle their accomplishments. With wildlife being killed off and habitats vanishing, zoos provide healthy and stable shelter for animals. Animals in zoos have access to the adequate amounts of food that they need in order to be healthy, and live under constant veterinarian care, improving their welfare while elongating their lifespans. Conservation organizations can also thank zoos for helping them raise money and fund them, for a significant portion of the revenue gained by admissions and other purchases in zoos goes towards their projects.

Unfortunately, habitat loss is not the only peril that animals face today. There has been a cumulative death of over 73,000 elephants in Tanzania and Mozambique in the last five years due to poaching. While regulations, government interference, and efforts from conservation organizations are helping control the growth of poaching, they are not working fast enough.

The number of rhinos poached has only started decreasing since 2014, and resulted in the extinction of the Western black rhino. Man caused the demise of the Northern white rhinos, but later made it possible to raise their population size from almost extinct to near-threatened. Unfortunately, Northern white rhinos are extinct in the wild, but because of human care and breeding programs, there is still hope for repopulation.

One of the most significant contributions to animal conservation brought by zoos is through breeding programs, which directly increases the population of that given specie. The incapability of animals to breed contributes to the constant diminishing populations of wildlife. Under poor living conditions, the mortality rate of animals surpasses the birth rate, creating a negative pointing slope for its population. Also, one must keep in mind that childbirth always has its complications.

Due to the small pelvic size of squirrel monkeys, the offspring’s head is very large compared to the birth canal diameter, yielding a 34% mortality rate of newborns at birth. Hyenas also face immense danger during the childbirth process due to giving birth to a relatively large matured cub through an extremely narrow organ resembling the male’s reproductive organ. As a result of this excruciating process, about 70% of hyena firstborn cubs and 18% of first-time mothers die during childbirth.

Aside from the dangerous process, hyenas’ gestation lasts about 120 days, which is very long for predators, leaving them vulnerable to other predators. Under zoological care, expecting mothers are vigorously watched and taken care of, significantly decreasing the possibility of pregnancy-related health complications. Childbirth in zoological facilities are monitored and controlled by veterinarians and zookeepers, which protects both the mother and offspring, ensuring that both will survive and live on to further increase that specie’s population.

Zoos hold animals that have been seriously injured or have fled areas with danger from humans, and are responsible for much of the animals that are still left existing. If it was not for zoos, we could expect to have lost many more species of animals. One should not look at zoos as prisons, but instead, as facilities that provide as natural as possible homes for needing animals. AZA credited zoos give animals ethical and interactive habitats while scattering their foods in order to encourage natural behaviors such as browsing, scavenging, and foraging.

While the animals are living a healthy and safe life, the public is able to admire the majestic organisms and learn about them. Every zoo's goal is to inspire the people into somehow joining the effort, and share the appreciation that we humans should all have for animals. By educating the public and raising awareness about urgent conservation statuses, zoos increase the number of people working towards a world where animals can live with great welfare and prosper in the wild without disturbances from humans.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

62703
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

41078
loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets
StableDiffusion

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less
Adulting

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

961694
Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

210002
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments