Evolution of man has lead to various environmental issues that had detrimental consequences for various species. Zoos were often historic tools to display wealth and power. It is only recently that the primary focus of zoos has been shifted to conservation efforts and preservation of biodiversity. Zoos and botanical gardens attempt to fulfill their goal of conservation through ex situ programs, in situ methods, and education. In addition, the methods of captive breeding and reintroduction are key components of these programs for a successful increase in biodiversity, where each method acts complimentary to one another. Usage of case examples where these methods were successful promoted the crucial role of zoos in the conservation. Finally insight for the recognition of collection-based institutions in conservations efforts was mentioned. Keywords: biodiversity, captive breeding, conservation, education, ex situ programs, in situ methods, zoos .
As man evolves and raises its demands on the space it inhabits, our world today have become more vulnerable and increasingly under stress. Humans are frequently confronted with their needs for resources to sustain its growing population and over time has resulted in damaging effects to the environment, namely: global warming, acid rain, air pollution, waste and deforestation to name a few. These have cascading effects on certain species – most commonly habitat loss and ultimately a reduction in biodiversity which is vital environmentally, socially and economically. In order to avoid amplifying these challenges, methods of conservation are critical for the success of preserving biodiversity. As defined by the World Association of Zoos and Aquarium Conservation Strategy (WAZACS), conservation is the securing of long-term population of species in natural ecosystems and habitats wherever possible (WAZA, 2005).
By reinforcing this practice and highlighting its value in protecting vulnerable ecosystems, collection based institutions like zoos and botanical gardens play a crucial role in the conservation of animal and plant species.