It is estimated that 20 percent or more of the world's biological diversity may disappear in the next few decades. With the knowledge of why conservation is important, we may be able to stop this from happening. Zoos play an important role in the drive to bring endangered species back from the brink of extinction and in stopping other animals from becoming endangered at all.
Zoos and aquariums are working to scientifically manage conservation-breeding efforts throughout the world. Species Survival Plans (SSP) are in place for over 100 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and invertebrates. Zoos have also supported or participated in thousands of conservation or related scientific projects in over 60 countries worldwide. Scientists are beginning to focus on habitat conservation nearly as much as species conservation.
Conservation cannot be, and is not, limited to zoos. All of Earth's natural resources are in need of protection. Without conservation programs to save endangered ecosystems, such as rainforests and coral reefs, the work of zoos and aquariums to breed endangered species would produce only more zoo animals. Preserving habitats is also important because all of the zoos and aquariums together can hold and save only a fraction of all the species on Earth.
We want to conserve species and habitats for their beauty and out of compassion. The most important reason for conservation, however, is that each and every organism on earth is a single thread of a fragile web of life. With each severed thread, our own tenuous hold on to the web is made that much weaker.
Click here for more information about Frogwatch, USA.
Nashville Zoo's Role in Conservation
Nashville Zoo is committed to supporting a wide variety of conservation projects both locally and internationally. Our efforts range from participating in a hellbender captive breeding project, which supports field research; to breeding giant anteaters and providing valuable husbandry and medical data to zoos nationwide; to working with noted field researchers in South America who track and collect specimens and data on tapirs; to initiating a captive breeding program in Thailand for clouded leopards.
Nashville Zoo is also home to many SSPs, coordinated efforts between all AZA-accredited zoos to improve the genetics and survivability of threatened and endangered species. For a list of all SSPs that Nashville Zoo participates in, click here.
Nashville Zoo Green Team Efforts
In 2009, Nashville Zoo created Green Team to support an additional layer of conservation action in connection with the park’s mission.
Energy conservation, waste recycling and every-day green practices have paved the way for an invitation for Nashville Zoo members and all local citizens to join us in our endeavor to protect lowland gorillas in the deep forests of congo in Central Africa. Cell phones contain a mineral called coltan which is mined in the Congolese forests, home of the endangered lowland gorilla. With the mining industry threatening their habitat, recycling cell phones helps save energy, keeps usable materials out of landfills and incinerators and may help alleviate the need to mine more coltan from the Congo region.
Will you join us in reaching our goal to recycle 3000 cell phones in 2011 to protect precious natural resources?
Drop off your unwanted electronics during your next visit at the Membership Hut and Croft Center. At Nashville Zoo you can currently recycle:
Interested in hosting an electronics drive to aide Nashville Zoo’s effort to keep cell phones out of landfills? Contact us:
At this time, Nashville Zoo is not able to accept large computer equipment. Visit www.Earth911.com to locate additional recycling resources in your area.