11 Pages

Research in Zoos and Aquariums

A deep concern for the plight of many species now endangered in the wild and for the disap­ pearance of critical habitats for wildlife is shared by university scientists and zoo and aquarium professionals who work with wild animals in captivity. The mission of modern zoos and aquariums now centers on conserva­ tion of endangered animals, and scientific re­ search has become more acceptable in zoologi­ cal facilities. But while worldwide conservation is a dominant concern to many of us in the university as well as in the zoo and aquarium communities, collaborative efforts in the United States are not yet as commonplace as they are in countries like Great Britain (Hardy, 1993). However, with recent decreases in funding for academic research, university scientists are be­ ginning to turn to zoos and aquariums as re­ sources for scientific investigation. Research at these facilities is becoming more routine, al­ though zoos and aquariums are not yet widely recognized by the general public as being scien­ tific institutions.