General Article Zoos and aquariums save the world's most endangered species

Topic Selected: Animal Rights
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Gland, Switzerland, Thursday 2 June 2011, (WAZA): ‘The role of zoos and aquariums is often misunderstood as being only entertainment menageries; however, they actually play a vital role in species conservation,’ says Dr Gerald Dick, Executive Director of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
Apart from field conservation and environmental education work, many zoos have taken on the additional role of breeding a growing number of species that only exist in those facilities.
29 of the 34 animal species currently classified as Extinct in the Wild are actively bred in zoos, aquariums and other animal propagation facilities.
Several species that are extinct in the wild due to habitat destruction, poaching, wildlife trade or climate change are now solely represented by animals in zoos and aquariums.
At the occasion of the World Environment Day, on 5 June 2011, WAZA wants to emphasise the crucial role played by zoos and aquariums in species conservation around the world.
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