Being one of the oldest zoos in the United States, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, otherwise and more commonly known as the National Zoo, provides not just fun, but the proper educational experience for the entire family. Animal lovers will get their thrills and trivia alike with the dozens of programs lined up in the prestigious zoo.
Holding more than 2,000 animals of almost 400 species in its care, the National Zoo makes sure that proper advocacy on animal conservation is disseminated to its visitors. As such, six learning centers have been conceptualized by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute to help educate and train volunteers and zoo visitors alike.
Here is a brief rundown on the National Zoo’s six science centers:
Center for Animal Care Sciences
This science center mainly deals with the National Zoo’s breeding programs. Animal health, welfare and care – particularly on zoo exhibits and public information – is carefully discussed. Vet medicine and proper animal communication are some of the highlights in this center.
Conservation Ecology Center
Saving animal populations not only deals with that certain animal’s habitat, but its surrounding ecosystems as well. The Conservation Ecology Center researches different marine and terrestrial habitats in the world, to analyze and produce proper conservation programs. Satellite programs and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to help gather the global data.
Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability
The focus on animal conservation deals with other external factors as well. This center mainly deals with human interaction, with the risks, benefits and consequences on applied conservation programs. A constant learning program, the center implements past and existing conservation programs to create even better guidelines for the future generation’s use.
Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics
Because of the different standards of animals living in and out of the wild, this center was created to see and possibly implement the best ways on creating the proper captive animal biodiversity. DNA testing is also researched in this center – not just for breeding purposes, but to learn more on animal behavior as well.
Migratory Bird Center
The worldwide phenomenon of bird migrations led to the implementation of this center. Seeing the dwindling rates of migratory birds in the last recent years, the center hopes to foster an appreciation for these birds lifestyle. Protection programs and education programs are also discussed in here.
Center for Species Survival
To save the most endangered species in the world is the hope and mission of this center. Conservation methods, both in the zoo and in the wild, are studied and implemented. Different approaches – whether orthodox or not – are discussed and highly appreciated by the center’s staff.
The National Zoo hopes not to be only a forerunner in caring and exhibiting animals properly. It also hopes to be a hub of animal conservation, a venue for learning and training the best animal lovers in the world. While your there, also check out their Smokey the Bear spokesman and National Zoo highlight. Visit this zoo to get the best and latest information in animal conservation.