The president of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) says the type of barren landscapes shown in Australia's famous Mad Max movies could become a common reality because of global warming. This is according to a news report on the annual meeting of the WAZA, which is underway now at the Adelaide Zoo in South Australia. Professor McGregor Reid, also CEO of Chester Zoo in Northern England, went on to say “These films are kind of prescient, they give us some kind of glimpse of one horrible future that we don't certainly want to be heading towards and it's the job of the entire world conservation community - including zoos and aquarium - to help address these issues."David Field, director of the London Zoological Society, then explained that the world's oldest scientific zoo, London Zoo has been giving global warming information to about 1 million visitors in a bid to get them to reduce their personal carbon emissions. "Climate change could be a difficult subject to communicate, but once they realise that it is affecting the animals they are seeing in the zoos it brings a much bigger emotional message, and makes a much bigger impact on people to change their ways."
And Yesterday we we also learned, via the ABC, that world's zoos are becoming refugee camps for critically endangered animals threatened by climate change. The chief executive of the Adelaide zoos, Chris West, said that the trend is happening a lot faster than experts had once predicted. "The sort of projections that said that by mid-century we may have lost a third of the existing animals and plants on the planet, that looks begins to look if anything optimistic," he said.
There are three conferences running in tandem from the 16th to 23rd of October. The aforementioned WAZA, plus the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) and the International Zoo Educators Association (IZE). All up about 300 wildlife, zoo and conservation leaders from 42 nations are expected to attend the conferences.
As if to underscore the valuable work being undertaken at the worlds zoo, Sydney’s Taronga Zoo was delighted to announce on Saturday that four Tasmanian Devil joeys born at the zoo were discovered to be female. This is versy significant because about 60% of Tasmania’s marsupial Devils have died from one of the only contagious cancers known to science, Devil facial tumour disease. A rescue breeding program has been established in mainland Australian zoos to try and preserve the species in light of their impending extinction. (In May of this year they were officially classified as ‘Endangered’.) So far 34 joeys have been born in zoos are part of this program.
Mad Max landscape photo found at Cinephobia