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Zoos' Role in Insect Conservation

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by SharkFinatic, 12 Feb 2019.

  1. SharkFinatic

    SharkFinatic Well-Known Member

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    After hearing recent reports about the impending insect apocalypse, I started thinking about how zoos should start putting more focus on insects in their exhibitions and conservation programs. Considering how important insects are in maintaining ecosystems, insect conservation and exhibition should be a greater priority for zoos than it currently is, in my opinion.
     
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  2. Daktari JG

    Daktari JG Well-Known Member

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    agreed. more education is particularly needed
     
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  3. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Completely agree. Much more needs to be done to help save insects. Zoos currently don't have much of a role in insect conservation.

    In fact, one very famous and highly regarded zoo for exhibit quality and conservation knowingly drove an insect species to extinction.
     
    Last edited: 12 Feb 2019
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  4. SharkFinatic

    SharkFinatic Well-Known Member

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    Eh, I wouldn't say they have no role. They have had helped bring back American burying beetles, various butterfly species, and more recently, Lord Howe Island stick insects. They just need to do way more of it.
     
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  5. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Okay, you're right. I couldn't think of any examples off the top of my head when I wrote that, but those are all good examples. I will edit my post.
     
  6. Daktari JG

    Daktari JG Well-Known Member

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    what case was that?
     
  7. SharkFinatic

    SharkFinatic Well-Known Member

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    I think he's referring to an insect (whose species' name escapes me) that parasitized the California condor.
     
  8. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I was. The San Diego Zoo killed off the California Condor Louse.
     
  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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  10. SharkFinatic

    SharkFinatic Well-Known Member

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    This wouldn't be the only example of conservation-induced extinction, if I'm not mistaken.
     
  11. Daktari JG

    Daktari JG Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Don't know how I never heard of that. Guess I was busier back then. :)
     
  12. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Nope. And guess what. They're all insects.
     
  13. OstrichMania

    OstrichMania Well-Known Member

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    I find insects as one of the most precious animal groups out there, though that is just my opinion of course.
     
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  14. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    So do I! They are very important.
     
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  15. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, the role of zoos in insect conservation is very little. Insects houses in zoos tend to hold only the most showy and supergiant insects for "generalist" public joy, and species are repeated in most insects houses. Only some zoos have active programs on endangered insects. But focusing on these species, while is a good thing, have very little to do with conservation of insect biomass and avoiding the current human-induced collapse of all ecosystems, just one more part of the Sixth Extinction. The most important things that zoos use to do in relation with biomass insect conservation is, building insect hotels, and keeping "native insect gardens". Very little, actually. "insects hotels" are very selective, only are useful for hymenopterans and somewhat for insects that hides or hibernates under bark/debris. And "native gardens" are very small. Insects are much less adaptable than more "appealing" animals like birds, mammals and reptiles. They usually need large amounts of natural habitat for keeping a safe self-sustaining population, in bigger areas than the "native gardens" in zoos have. Most insects here are visitors rather than residents.
    What is the most important thing that zoos could do for insect biomass conservation? Concienciation, concienciation, concienciation everywhere!!! A very difficult task that will reach only a tiny percentage of the visitors, but this percentage is crucial. Informative pannels, not too dense nor technical and trying to be as hearttouching as possible, about the importance of insects, the importance of avoiding the use of the car, the importance of stopping the urban development and the mankind overpopulation, concienciation about that insects are as important as any other animal group and they never can be equaled to "pests" as a group because we do not associate authomatically "pest" with mammals or birds, we do?? The people should be convinced that insects (and the remaining animals) deserve conservation NOT (only) because they're useful to humans, but just because they exists! Concienciation about trying to erradicate the use of insecticides, about letting the anthropophilic species live in our homes as far as they don't damage our things, and maybe one of the most important things, concienciation about letting the "green spaces" (parks, rounds, etc) in cities to be somewhat wild and avoid the use of grasscutters.... Probably the most important thing that can be done in the world with insect (and hence, whole land biodiversity in general) biomass conservation, is, obligate the farmers to rotate crops (letting one field in abandoned state for some years while they cultivate and adjacent one), letting this way the biodiversity pass from one field to another for continue living and breeding here. Without rotutate more untouched land for doing that, of course!! Well the result will be... much less crops. And how to feed the growing mankind then? Just letting the mankind self-reduce over the time, via concienciation about have less children, to a sustainable number, maybe about the 10% of current number. Then, the world could maybe recover a bit!
     
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