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Zoos to the rescue of threatened species
9:58am Saturday 18th August 2012 in News
THE dodo may not have become extinct had zoos existed at the time, research by the University of York has claimed.
Dr Andrew Marshall, from the university’s environment department, helped create a list of the top ten species which are most reliant on zoos, for the British and Irish Association for Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).
Dr Marshall said good zoos are powerful forces for conservation, and some of the world’s most extraordinary species would not have survived without them.
He said: “This list highlights ten prevailing examples of how zoos are working to save these and many other species from extinction. Without the valuable conservation and breeding work of many of our member zoos and aquariums, many ‘at risk’ species such as these may be lost to extinction forever. The top ten list of species most reliant on zoos underlines the importance of zoos not only in conservation breeding for reserve populations and reintroductions, but in the role they play in conservation in the wild from fundraising to research, education and support for local communities, as well as wildlife habitats.”
Animals on the brink of extinction include a leopard, lemur, tortoise, and the Scimitar-horned oryx, which is now extinct in the wild, but thriving at Flamingo Land.
Dr Marshall leads the Centre for the Integration of Research, Conservation and Learning, based at Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo in Ryedale.
BIAZA’s top ten species most reliant on zoos are:
1. Mountain chicken
2. White-clawed crayfish
3. Blue-crowned laughing thrush
4. Amur leopard
5. Potosi pupfish
6. Partula snail
7. Verdcourt’s polyalthia tree
8. Blue-eyed black lemur
9. Ploughshare tortoise
10. Scimitar-horned oryx