Zoos & Seed banks

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  • Created on: 18-03-13 21:23
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Zoos conserve endangered species and conserve genetic diversity.
How do zoos conserve endangered species?
Often reintroduce animals into the wild which helps to conserve the animal's numbers in the wild.
Zoos help to educate people about conserving endangered animals increasing their awareness and enthusiasm therefore more is likely to get
Research in zoos increase knowledge about the behaviour, physiology and nutritional needs of animals. This can contribute to conserving
endangered species.
They use captive breeding programmes with use of stud books.
How do they maintain genetic diversity?
Captive breeding programmes.
They carefully select mates due to detailed record keeping (stud books) ­ allowing individuals to only mate with a different individual previously
mated with.
Reintroduction into the wild conserves genetic diversity in the wild.
SEED BANKS They help to conserve biodiversity by storing the seeds of
endangered plants.
They also conserve genetic diversity. For some species they store a range of seeds from plants with different characteristics
(different alleles)
The work of seed banks involves:
Creating the cool, dry conditions needed for storage so seeds can be stored for a long time. (desiccated conditions)
Testing seeds for viability (the ability to grow into a plant). Seeds are planted, grown and new seeds are harvested to put back into storage.
Cheaper to store a large amount of seeds than fully grown plants as they need less space.
Seeds can be stored in desiccated conditions (frozen or dried) for a long time however plants need all the conditions from their original habitat.

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Seeds are less likely to be damaged by disease.
Testing seeds for viability can be expensive and time consuming.
Too expensive to store all types of seed and regularly test them for liability.
Seed banks also contribute to scientific research; reintroduce plants into the wild and help to educate people about conserving biodiversity.
E.g. The millennium seed bank aims to conserve plants in their original country by setting up local seed banks all around the world.…read more


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