Photo by Keith Lovett

Photo by Keith Lovett

Conservation at the Zoo? In a major shift of emphasis, zoos are evolving from recreational facilities into conservation organizations. This transformation involves changes in almost every aspect of the Zoo, from how animals are housed to the types of programs offered.

In old zoos, animals were often housed alone in sterile cages for easy viewing. In modern zoos, animals are housed in normal social groups in natural settings – which is better for the animals and more educational for the public. Rather than capturing animals from the wild, most are bred at a zoo. Zoos now work to preserve animals and their habitats in their home countries.

Research is essential to these efforts. It is through research that we gather the information needed to make good conservation and management decisions. For example, in order to maintain animals in naturalistic settings, we need to know what their habitat is like in the wild. The list goes on and on, and requires work both at zoos and in the wild. Buttonwood Park Zoo embraces this new philosophy.

In support of our mission we are a vibrant conservation organization, with projects in our own backyard and beyond.

Visit the rest of the conservation pages to get a sample of our conservation and research efforts, as well as what you can do yourself at home and in your own communities.