The Ark and BeyondThe Evolution of Zoo and Aquarium Conservation

The Ark and BeyondThe Evolution of Zoo and Aquarium Conservation

Ben A. Minteer, Jane Maienschein, and James P. Collins

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9780226538327

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Today, many zoos promote the preservation of biodiversity as a significant part of their mission. As “arks” for endangered species and, increasingly, as leaders in field conservation projects such as the reintroduction of zoo-born animals to the wild, they’re preparing to play an even more important role in attempts to save species in this century. The intensification of these efforts, however, presents a number of practical and strategic challenges for zoos and aquariums as they seek to balance an expanding conservation mission alongside their more traditional recreation and entertainment pursuits. It also raises important questions about the science, values, and historical traditions informing a growing zoo and aquarium conservation agenda in the coming decades. The Ark and Beyond is an authoritative, interdisciplinary volume focused on the past, present, and future of zoo and aquarium conservation, emphasizing the intersection of academic and practitioner perspectives. Its contributors, four-dozen in all, are among the most respected scholars and zoo professionals working today; all of whom have offered uniquely informed perspectives on the challenges and possibilities of zoo and aquarium conservation in an age of accelerating social and ecological change. Together, the chapters explore the meaning and significance of conservation practice in and by zoos and aquariums, and consider how a deeper understanding of the traditions feeding into this effort might be absorbed into key discussions in conservation history, life science ethics, zoo biology, animal studies, and related fields.

Table of Contents

Introduction Zoo and Aquarium Conservation: Past, Present, Future

Ben A. Minteer, Jane Maienschein, and James P. Collins

Part I Protoconservation in Early European Zoos

Part II The Rise of US Zoo and Aquarium Conservation in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Part III Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Today: Visions and Programs

Part IV Caring for Nature: Welfare, Wellness, and Natural Connections

Part V The Science and Challenge of the Conservation Ark

Part VI Alternative Models and Futures