World Zoo Conservation Strategy: a blueprint for zoo development
- Cite this article as:
- Wheater, R. Biodiversity and Conservation (1995) 4: 544. doi:10.1007/BF00222513
People need a sense of purpose, the setting of clear targets, the encouragement and support of others in striving for and achieving tasks that have been set. This is particularly true for zoo personnel, a profession which is often under critical attack, especially from those who have a philosophical difficulty in accepting the idea of animals in captivity. The zoo world, with its huge number of collections and in excess of 600 million annual visitors, represents a grossly under-utilized force for the conservation of endangered species, for the development of scientific knowledge and the increase of public awareness through environmental education programmes.
With targets before them, zoos can better provide, maintain and develop their full potential for the good of conservation. The World Zoo Conservation Strategy (WZCS) is not a new beginning, but a codification of the existing activities of responsible zoos, with the purpose of reminding all zoos and their supporters of the Mission Aims, which they should embrace and develop. It forms a set of standards of activity against which zoos can judge themselves and be judged by others. Zoological collections' ability to achieve the obligations of the WZCS will depend on public support. The Strategy, whilst setting the activity priorities, is also one which will evolve to meet the changing demands of the conservation world.