BIODIVERSITY SURVEYS & ECOLOGICAL MONITORING
Before you can implement conservation action to protect wildlife and habitats, it’s really important to know exactly what’s there to begin with.
Biodiversity surveys and ecological monitoring are key research tools that help define areas and species of most conservation value and need, and also provide data to allow effective monitoring and evaluation of implemented conservation measures.
Chester Zoo staff and partners have a broad range of taxonomic knowledge and interest, often with regional specialisms associated with our well established field programmes, and are proficient in various field survey techniques.
CONSERVATION BREEDING & MANAGEMENT
Chester Zoo is a centre of excellence for conservation breeding and management.
The survival of endangered species is increasingly more reliant on the sustainability of zoo populations. By investigating factors that could negatively impact on the reproductive viability of populations, we can make informed management decisions to boost the reproductive success of threatened species.
By managing zoo populations effectively we’re also maximising the chances of captive bred individuals being successfully reintroduced to the wild. In some cases, conservation breeding centres need to be established in the field and the knowledge and skills of zoo staff is critical in ensuring the success of these centres for re-establishing populations in the wild.
Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is what happens when animals are a direct and regular threat to a community, whether that’s a threat to their safety or their livelihoods, and people then retaliate by harming the animal.
It affects most large carnivores and many other species. Such conflicts also impact the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the people whose support we ask for to achieve wider conservation goals.
Preventing and mitigating HWC requires not only an understanding of the movements and needs of the species, but also the underlying cultural, political and economic aspects that shape these conflicts. HWC therefore requires a variety of disciplines and knowledge, including behavioural ecology, social psychology, economics, development and anthropology.
LIVELIHOODS & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Communities that live alongside wildlife or close to protected areas need to receive some benefits from conservation to be able to support it.
This is particularly true for poor and marginalised communities in developing countries, where conservation can seem like a luxury in relation to the circumstances in which some people survive. In many cases sustainable livelihoods and development initiatives are essential and must be integrated into conservation strategies if they are to succeed.
Many of our field projects are built around this concept, working to find culturally acceptable, equitable and economically viable solutions for communities to benefit from conservation efforts around the world.
VISITOR & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
With nearly 2 million visitors a year, Chester Zoo has a great chance to engage individuals and communities on the conservation and protection of wildlife around the world.
Through our many varied learning programmes, a large part of our role as a zoo is to raise awareness and educate the public on ways they can maximise their contribution to conservation.
In order to assess the effectiveness of these programmes, we conduct research that allows us to understand the impact of our work, provide evidence-based recommendations for improvements, as well as gaining insight into the value of zoos in connecting people with wildlife.
WILDLIFE HEALTH & WELLBEING
The many research projects we conduct at the zoo are designed to address and inform on matters that may impact on the health and wellbeing of all the wildlife at the zoo.
We regularly evaluate our husbandry techniques, the habitat spaces and environmental enrichment using a range of methods to provide evidence-based recommendations for the care of the species.
We also investigate potential causes and treatments for diseases to benefit both the animals at the zoo and their species in the wild.