How are animal keeping and conservation philosophy of zoos affected by climate change?
Article first published online: 23 DEC 2010
© 2010 The Authors. International Zoo Yearbook © 2010 The Zoological Society of London
International Zoo Yearbook
Volume 45, Issue 1, pages 99–107, January 2011
How to Cite
JUNHOLD, J. and OBERWEMMER, F. (2011), How are animal keeping and conservation philosophy of zoos affected by climate change?. International Zoo Yearbook, 45: 99–107. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1090.2010.00130.x
- Issue published online: 29 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 23 DEC 2010
- Manuscript submitted 22 May 2010; revised 5 November 2010; accepted 12 November 2010
- climate change;
- in situ;
- regional collection plan;
- threatened species
Climate change is a global threat and will affect zoos in different ways. Two questions are discussed: (1) will the keeping conditions of animals in zoos change and force zoos to react to the effects of climate change, and (2) what is the influence of zoos on ex situ and in situ conservation of species at the moment and how will this be influenced by the fact that habitats alter as a result of climate-change effects? When considering keeping conditions a forecast is difficult to make. However, because animals can adapt to different temperatures and the environment can be controlled artificially with technology, the effect of climate change on keeping conditions seems to be manageable from the current level of knowledge and experience. The influence of global warming on the strategies of zoos for conservation seems to be more serious. First, the number of managed breeding programmes is growing slowly but the number of threatened species will probably increase rapidly as a result of climate-change effects. Second, the link to in situ/reintroduction projects will be affected if habitats change. Zoos need to react to these challenges both in collection planning (on different levels) and in the measures they have to develop for future in situ efforts.