Zoos? Becoming more important than ever...
Even though we have all been enjoying the Christmas break, something that has not escaped anyone's view has been the awful fires that have destroyed huge amounts of Australia. Now this isn't going to be a post about global warming, as we can all now accept easily the evidence.
No, my thoughts are that Zoos around the world will be critical moving forward. There was a time when I thought I'd not be saying this, but all the zoos, no matter how small will be key to keeping animals from going extinct.
Whether they are private collections, or large scientific zoos, we need to be asking ourselves what we can do to support them. If you look at the terrifying scenes that are being relayed to us in the UK, for example, of the devastation that Australia is under thought he ravages of the bush fires. It doesn't take much to understand that not only are peoples lives, homes, and business being destroyed. But also nature is under an enormous threat.
Plants and animal species that were already feeling the pressure of climate change and erosion of their habitats are now being dealt a harder blow. With whole scale desolation of the landscape through fire, fire that affords nowhere to hide, the flora and fauna can be completely removed from larger swathes of land.
When you think about animals such as the Koala which has been under threat for many years, not just from environmental change but from historical wide scale removal by man in certain areas. This animal is in desperate need of saving. When you think about the zoos that have small pockets of Australian native species in their collections, the opening of widespread "stud books" to start concerted breeding programmes is need. It is happening, and underway, but these things take time and money, along with creating the right environment for the animals to successfully breed.
I know that there are many organisations that oppose the existence of Zoos. For ethical and moral reasons. I'm in no way condoning poor animal husbandry, or unethical practices, but we are coming to a point where due to the impact of climate change, and the resultant devastation, there is going to have to be some stepping back from anti-zoo campaigns. Holding them to account for best practices, and existing for the right reasons needs to continue, but lets not throw the baby out with the bath water!
What can yo do? Well, think about researching your local zoo. Find out about their breeding programmes, and their successes. Then support them!