Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Zoos, aquariums do teach us about biodiversity, largest international study proves

Date:
March 3, 2014
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
Zoos and aquariums do teach the public about the delicate balance between animal species and their habitats, a new international study shows. More than 6,000 visitors to over 30 zoos and aquariums across the world took part in this landmark study. Participants filled out pre- and post-visit surveys to evaluate their biodiversity understanding and knowledge of how to help protect biodiversity. The study found there was an increase from pre-visit (69.8%) to post-visit (75.1%) in respondents demonstrating some positive evidence of biodiversity understanding.

“Critics have rightly questioned the lack of evidence supporting the educational claims of zoos and aquariums. In demonstrating the positive educational impacts that a zoo or aquarium visit can facilitate, this study goes a long way in answering those critics," the authors note.

A new international study of zoos and aquariums shows that these family attractions do teach the public about the delicate balance between animal species and their habitats.

Sociologist Eric Jensen from the University of Warwick worked with Andy Moss from Chester Zoo and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) on the largest study of its kind to assess if these facilities did achieve their public education goals.

More than 6,000 visitors to over 30 zoos and aquariums across the world took part in this landmark study. Participants filled out pre- and post-visit surveys to evaluate their biodiversity understanding and knowledge of how to help protect biodiversity.

The study found there was an increase from pre-visit (69.8%) to post-visit (75.1%) in respondents demonstrating some positive evidence of biodiversity understanding.

Researchers also found an increase from pre-visit (50.5%) to post-visit (58.8%) in respondents who could identify something they could do individually to help protect biodiversity.

Dr Eric Jensen is an internationally recognized expert on public engagement with wildlife. He is author of the forthcoming book From Conservation Education to Public Engagement: Research, Principles and Practice.

Dr Jensen said: "This study offers the first large-scale international evidence that zoos and aquariums can effectively engage their visitors with biodiversity. This question of educational impact has loomed over zoos and aquariums for decades. Our findings indicate that zoos and aquariums are right to tout their potential as sites for engagement with wildlife, although some of these attractions are clearly more effective than others.

"This positive finding that zoo and aquarium visits worldwide generate significant gains in public biodiversity knowledge aligns with my previous research at London Zoo and Durrell Wildlife Park (Jersey Zoo)'

Co-author Andy Moss, Education Research Officer at Chester Zoo and Associate Fellow at the University of Warwick said: "Critics have rightly questioned the lack of evidence supporting the educational claims of zoos and aquariums. In demonstrating the positive educational impacts that a zoo or aquarium visit can facilitate, this study goes a long way in answering those critics. The significant improvement in visitor biodiversity knowledge shows that zoos and aquariums can be important public providers of education that is also meaningful to global conservation initiatives, such as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity."

The report 'A Global Evaluation of Biodiversity Literacy in Zoo and Aquarium Visitors' is available here : http://www.waza.org/en/site/conservation/un-decade-on-biodiversity/visitor-survey


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Zoos, aquariums do teach us about biodiversity, largest international study proves." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303083545.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2014, March 3). Zoos, aquariums do teach us about biodiversity, largest international study proves. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303083545.htm
University of Warwick. "Zoos, aquariums do teach us about biodiversity, largest international study proves." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303083545.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Suni, a rare northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, died Friday. This, as many media have pointed out, leaves people fearing extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins