March 7, 2013
1:00 pmto2:30 pm

Terrestrial Research on Ecosystems & World-wide Education & Broadcast || An Innovative Graduate Training Program

Seminar: Megan Callahan

March 1, 2013

March 7, 2013
1:00 pmto2:30 pm


Lions and Tigers and Przewalski’s Horse: Conservation Issues in Zoos Today

Thursday Mar. 7th, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Forest Sciences Centre 1221

Everyone welcome!


If you cannot make it in person, you can access the live webinar link here. Please log in 5 minutes early.

Summary: Zoos in one form or another have been part of the human experience dating back to antiquity. Whereas such institutions have historically focused on the entertainment value of presenting their animal repositories to humans, zoos in the contemporary period are increasingly institutions for which conservation is the paramount mission. Given their access to wildlife populations, biological expertise, and millions of visitors per year, zoos seem uniquely poised to fundamentally address many conservation components and have indeed begun to do so. But questions remain about the success level of their conservation efforts, especially when considering the potential tension between conservation and financially successful entertainment. This may manifest in disparate treatment of different species, with species deemed desirable to the public being favoured over others. Given the threatened nature of many wildlife populations, an assessment of zoo contributions is critical. My project looks at the relative conservation needs of different species compared to current zoo projects. Further qualitative assessment was accomplished with interviews of zoo executives to explore how such projects are chosen, funded, and evaluated.

Bio: Megan Callahan is a Masters student in the Resource Management and Environmental Studies Department at UBC, working under the supervision of Dr. Terre Satterfield. She received her BA degree in Environmental Analysis from Pomona College in Southern California. She is a native of Seattle, Washington. A fascination with the human/animal interaction was fostered by the rich diversity of wildlife in the Pacific maritime region and was furthered by time spent working in a wildlife rehabilitation center caring for injured and orphaned animals. She is currently focusing on the increasing species conservation efforts present in zoo facilities worldwide.

Recommended Reading: 

Reid, G.M. and K.C. Zippel. 2008. Can zoos and aquariums ensure the survival of amphibians in the 21st century? International Zoo Yearbook. 42 (1): 1-6.



*For the Spring 2013 Seminar Series Schedule, go here.

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