Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Zoos the urban arks of the future

Melbourne's zoos will become urban arks, breeding sanctuaries for 20 of the most at-risk species in the state, as scientists struggle to save them from extinction, according to The Age.

Flagging a strategic shift to become a ''zoo-based conservation organisation'', Zoos Victoria - which includes Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo - has released a ''priority'' list of species it believes are in urgent need of help.

The list includes 11 species that are already the subject of the zoos' conservation efforts, including the Tasmanian devil, mountain pygmy possum and orange-bellied parrot. Nine additional vulnerable species, including the Baw Baw frog, Leadbeater's possum, the alpine she-oak skink and the Guthega skink, are set to be brought into captive breeding programs in the coming months.

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