Species conservation / Nature conservation

Species conservation / Nature conservation

1) Species conservation

What is “Species conservation”?
A species is a group of living organisms consisting of individuals with a common appearance which may not change over the generations.
For example, being of the human species, humans of the Edo period of Japan and today have a common appearance.
The death of all individuals of the same species is called “Extinction”.
And once a species becomes extinct, it can never be recovered.
To prevent this happening means “Species conservation”.

Species conservation / Nature conservation

2) Current facts

Climate change and animals
Recent climate patterns seem to be odd in that it can fluctuate from long dry stretches of summer to periods of extensive damage from heavy rainfall.
It is worldwide phenomenon and is called “Climate Change”.
One reason for this can be attributed to carbon emissions from human activities around the earth leading to rising average temperatures.
If this situation remains so, the temperature of the earth will increase 1.8 ℃ to 4.0℃ by 2100 according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Some animals may suffer under adverse effects of climate change such as global warming.
Animals living in high mountains such as the snow grouse may be brought to the brink of extinction.
Poikilothermic frogs may move to places having more suitable temperature, but if they have nowhere to go, they will become extinct.
For migratory birds, the difference of timing between their arrival at a destination and the emergence of their insect prey may affect their life.
At the general meeting of the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group in 2008, climate change was identified as a critical matter for conserving wildlife and research was initiated towards development of a conservation plan.

3) The Conservation Committee

What is the Conservation Committee?
The Conservation Committee is a structure established by joint efforts from zoo and aquarium members of JAZA to ensure that the responsibility for conserving wildlife and passing this knowledge on to future generations is fulfilled and that these institutions maintain their roles as the places for learning about the various creatures.

4) Species conservation

What we do.
Although zoos or aquariums can be said to be “Modern Arks“, unfortunately they cannot take in all species.
Therefore, the Biodiversity Committee selects the species to be preserved by zoos and aquariums on a priority basis and then develops a species conservation plan (a JAZA Collection Plan).

5) The way of species conservation

Individual Information Record and Species Management Plan
Based on a JAZA Collection Plan, individual information relating to a preferred species, including its location, is recorded (Individual Information Record ), Information records are then analyzed and a Species Management Plan is developed according to the results.

Species conservation / Nature conservation

Breeding loan
To increase the population of rare species, zoos and aquariums have established a system for borrowing and lending animals, with these institutions working corperatively togather for conservation purposes.
This is based on the idea that rare animals do not belong to an individual or a zoo/aquarium but are global common property.

In situ conservation and ex situ conservation
To conserve wild animals in Japan, JAZA members are engaged in both “in situ conservation ”, which includes habitat research and conservation activities undertaken together with local residents, as well as “ex situ conservation ”, which includes captive breeding of animals in zoo/aquarium intended to protect them from extinction if it is considered too difficult to preserve them in their natural habitat.
Nature conservation can be promoted through a synergetic effect between “in situ” and “ex situ” conservation, as the knowledge gained
from “in situ” will bring success into “ex situ”, and reintroduction of animals born under “ex situ” into their native region provides another means of conserving nature.

6) Targeted species for conservation

The Biodiversity Committee has selected about 150 endangered species of wild animals from the world to be preserved by Japanese zoos and aquariums.
For the targeted species list, click here.

7) Awards for species conservation

Breeding Award and Koga Award
JAZA established two awards for zoo/aquarium to celebrate their breeding success and encourage further efforts.

Species conservation / Nature conservation

① Breeding Award
JAZA will give the award to a zoo/aquarium that makes the first breeding success of an animal in captivity.
Praising its breeding technique and releasing the name of institution may promote improvement of breeding techniques and support the conservation of rare animals.

② Koga Award
The Koga Award is given to a zoo/aquarium that achieves a grate breeding success a rare animal.
This award is given to the institution which achives breeding success of species which is globally important and very difficult to breed in captivity.
This award was established in 1986 to commemorate the achievements of Dr. Koga, ex-director of Ueno Zoo, who fostered special efforts for JAZA.