Conservation of Biodiversity
Zoos and seed banks help to conserve endangered species. The extinction of a specie or the loss of genetic diversity can cause a reduction in global biodiversity. Some species such as the Dodo have already became extinct, and many and endangered.
Seedbanks is a store of lots of seeds from different plant species. This is to help conserve the biodiversity by storing the seeds of endangered plants. So if plants have became extinct in the wild, then they can be re-grown via the seed. The also keep a range of the same seed but with a different genes, so that have a good genetic biodiversity. It involves keeping the seeds in a dry, cool condition, so the seeds can be stored for a long time. Testing the viability of the seeds. Seeds are planted, grown and new seeds are harvested to keep stocks up. An example of this is the millennium seed bank (MSB)
Zoos have captive breeding programs to help endangered species. These are in controlled environments. Species which are endangered or which are already extinct in the wild can be bred together in zoos to help increase their numbers. Such as Pandas. But there are some problems with it, animals can have problems breeding outside their natural habitats, and some people think it is cruel.
These animals or plants can be reintroduced into the wild, this is to bring them back from the brink of extinction, and to boost their numbers. An example is the Californian condor, which only 22 were left in the wild, but this number is now around 300 due to captive breeding.
But reintroducing them to the wild can bring new diseases to the habitat, which can harm other organisms there. The animals may also not behave naturally, as they have been raised in different environments.
They also contribute to scientific research, so they can study how species can successfully grown and developed, which can help in the wild, Seedbanks can be used to grow endangered plants for use in medical research so we don’t have to remove them from the environment. But this can lead to interbred populations and a lack of genetic diversity.
In zoos there will be an increased knowledge about the behaviour, physiology and nutritional needs of the animals, this can be used for in-situ conservation. Zoos cannot carry out the needed research on some animals in the wild. Captive breeding can cause animals to act different to they would in their natural environment.