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Derek Smith

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Do zoos help biodiversity conservation?

Zoos are becoming more aware of the role they can play in preventing species extinction. The California Condor, the black-footed ferret, and the Przewalski’s horse have all been saved from extinction because of zoos. Zoos also aid conservation by inspiring people to learn more about the diversity of life. However for every species saved in a zoo, hundreds if not more will perish outside of zoos. Is the role of the zoo to showcase and educate the public about the organisms they keep in captivity or should they also focus on conservation outside zoo boundaries?

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    Jun 8 2012: Zoos do a fantastic job of educating and exposing the public to species that would have otherwise remained a mystery. There are already breeding programs that are being implemented by zoos to help with the number of animals within the zoo, the pandas or hippos for example. I think that the zoos should continue to do what they are doing since that has proven to be very effective and leads to several people wanting to become zoologists or involved with conserving animals.
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      Jun 8 2012: I agree! Many zoos have breeding programs that the public does not know about, but alot of the money that goes to the zoo goes into these programs and to other conservation efforts including eductationg about these animals that need to be saved and I couldn't agree more about how it does lead people to want to become things such as biologist or other careers that could one day contribute to animal conservation again.
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      Jun 8 2012: I couldn't agree with you more. The first time I went to the zoo was the first time I knew I wanted to become a biologist :) Things like zoos not only help educate people but do great in motivating as well.
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      Jun 8 2012: I do agree that they exposing certain unknown species, but I can't help but think they they could expose a bit more, especially those that aren't mega-fauna. Granted, people aren't as interested in those, and many places are probably stretched out as it is, what with the economy being the way it is....

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