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Staten Island, NY, United States

Kawata K.,23 Arielle Lane
Zoologische Garten | Year: 2013

Zoo animal collections have gone through a variety of changes in recent decades. While an increasing number of species may be establishing self-sustainable populations, early specimens of some animal groups were captured and transported in wasteful and unacceptable methods, a part of history that should not be forgotten. Selection of species has shifted from individual to group decision-making processes, reflecting a different type of personnel now in charge. The fact remains, however, that zoos continue to present a popularity-driven, skewed representation of the animal kingdom to the public. Wildlife conservation has been one of the main purposes for zoos as well as zoo associations, both in Europe and America. In actuality, the concept of conservation is subject to individual interpretation and this is where a clear definition of the zoos' role could become rather vague. An important and worthwhile task for zoos is conservation education. To counteract deep-rooted anthropomorphism in the public's mind is not easy, yet it is a necessary step to raise citizens' environmental awareness. The ultimate results of conservation education include changing daily habits, as well as participation in grass-roots conservation movements, by citizens. © 2013 . Source


Kawata K.,23 Arielle Lane
Zoologische Garten | Year: 2011

Zoos have gone through metamorphosis in recent decades, largely in response to the changing tide of the society. The central theme for the modern zoo is Conservation. Zoo exhibitry has been evolving accordingly toward a more " naturalistic" trend, symbolized by the landscape immersion method. This approach, however, has a built-in dilemma since nature cannot be duplicated in captivity. Animals are often concealed from the visiting public, generating complaints. At its core, currently common exhibit schemes are anthropomorphic as well as anthropocentric. Animals' sensory faculties are ignored during the design process. In terms of taxonomy, distributions of the species in zoo collections are biased toward large mammals, and as resources are allocated toward species with public appeal, often left behind are smaller species of mammals and birds and lower vertebrates. There exists a need to turn a critical eye on today's zoo exhibits from all aspects. © 2011. Source


Kawata K.,23 Arielle Lane
Zoologische Garten | Year: 2011

While animal welfare is an important issue, in actuality zoos' resources are allocated for the public viewing while animals (in this case, mostly mammals popular to the public) are confined in small cages more than half of their time, away from the public's eye. The " naturalistic" exhibits have little resemblance to the animals' in situ habitats. For great apes, there exists confusion as to how to accommodate animals; some subscribe to the needs of animals while others prefer imagined " natural" furnishing. Elaborate large exhibits often send misleading messages to the public regarding endangered species and zoo-based Conservation. The currently popular theme park approach hardly meets the goal of raising the public's environmental awareness. Although education is expected to be zoos' mission, in reality it represents a formidable task. What is needed is independent and critical thinking for creative ideas, beyond the realm of accepted practices in zoos. © 2011. Source


Kawata K.,23 Arielle Lane
Zoologische Garten | Year: 2012

Enlargement of captive space has become a trend in zoos, frequently designed with geographic and mixed species themes. Geographic exhibits, however, often mislead the public; in mixed species exhibits, welfare of individual animals and their breeding potentials in some species are ignored. Another popular "natural" open and outdoor exhibit system commonly runs contrary to nature and the requirements of the inhabitants. In all this, the. quality of space is forgotten. Zoos need to reevaluate the advantages of cages as well as animal housing in buildings, to ensure management of diverse species in a larger number of taxonomic groups. As zoos reach a crossroad in history, renewed significance of wildlife conservation must be realized in exhibit design consideration. The importance of cohesive and proper exhibit design processes cannot be over-emphasized. © 2012. Source


Kawata K.,23 Arielle Lane
Zoologische Garten | Year: 2014

Wild animal trade, including capture and transport of animals from faraway lands to European and American markets for public exhibition, became a well-established business by the nineteenth century. Journey by animals to the destination in rudimentary conditions caused high mortality. This is an area in history that receives scant attention today. Also, husbandry technology in zoos was in dire need of improvement in earlier years. It is easy for us to condemn the work of yesteryear by using today's prism, an act called "Presentism". Instead, we should review the deed of our predecessors in historical perspective; judging them by today's moral standard will not get us anywhere. In early day America, traveling menageries first introduced the public to captive wild animals before zoos developed as civic institutions in increasingly urban societies. During the era, the division of circuses, menageries and zoos often blurred. This essay attempts to present a holistic review of wild animal exhibition operations including traveling menageries, circuses and zoos, focusing on selected topics from the eighteenth century through the middle of the last century. Today, even with tremendous contributions having been made, zoos still face considerable challenges in terms of wildlife conservation. © 2014 . Source

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