[Back to Meeting 2005]

Zoo-based Research and Conservation

Lynn Patton and Matt Anderson, Conservation and Research for Endangered Species, Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego, CA.

"Zoos and aquariums accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) are deeply committed to high standards of animal care and welfare and to their core missions of conservation, science and education. Last year alone, 214 AZA-member institutions reported spending an estimated $77 million to support 2,374 conservation and associated research and educational projects in 107 countries worldwide. In addition, zoo and aquarium staff produced over 700 articles, many in peer reviewed scientific publications.

AZA and its members recognize that science is critical to the future of wildlife and the zoological profession. To help better coordinate these efforts, the Association formed a Science and Technology Task Force and a series of Scientific Advisory Groups. While these cooperative programs are still in their infancy, individual member institutions continue to build their capacity to conduct scientific studies and apply the results to both applied and theoretical issues. In 2004, 64% of AZA members reported having a research coordinator's or equivalent position. Members' and their partners' conservation and associated scientific and educational initiatives are supported by the Association's Conservation Endowment Fund (CEF). Over the past 11 years, the CEF has provided nearly $2.8 million to support 177 projects in 36 countries worldwide.

The SICB Symposium titled "Zoo-based Research and Conservation" provides just a small sampling of the diverse, interesting and important work that AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and their highly-trained scientific and conservation staffs are doing on behalf of wildlife and their habitats worldwide."

Michael Hutchins, Ph.D.
Director/William Conway Chair
Department of Conservation and Science
American Zoo and Aquarium Association

Symposia speakers:

Dr. Thomas Hildebrandt
Head, Dept. Reproduction Management
Institute for Zoo Biology and Wildlife Research
Berlin, Germany
Development of assisted reproduction technologies (ART) for endangered species

Dr. Cheryl Asa
Director of Research
Saint Louis Zoological Park
St. Louis, MO
Recovery of endangered Mexican Gray Wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) and Island Foxes (Urocyon littoralis)

Dr. Fred Bercovitch
Head, Behavioral Biology
Conservation and Research for Endangered Species
Zoological Society of San Diego
San Diego, CA
Maternal Effort and Sex Differences in Koala Joey Development

Dr. Matt Anderson
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Division of Ecology and Evolution
Conservation and Research for Endangered Species
Zoological Society of San Diego
San Diego, CA
Comparative reproductive morphology in mammals: A Darwinian perspective

Lynn Patton
Research Associate, Endocrinology Division
Conservation and Research for Endangered Species
Zoological Society of San Diego
San Diego, CA
Contraception in female giraffe with a GnRH analog (Deslorelin)

Dr. Terri Roth
VP Animal Sciences
Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife,
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens,
Cincinnati, OH
The role of science in breeding the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)