Research Projects

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Zoo Snow Leopards Participating in Study To Facilitate Conservation Efforts for their Wild Counterparts

December 19, 2021

The technology and methodologies used in research & conservation efforts for wild animals are often developed, tested & optimised with the help of their zoo-housed counterparts...


The snow leopards at Korkeasaaren eläintarha are participating in a study led by Snow Leopard Trust, which aims to determine the accuracy of using camera images to survey the population of wild snow leopards.

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Findings of Largest-Ever Cetacean Welfare Study Have Been Published!

September 15, 2021

The findings of the largest-ever cetacean welfare study have been published! This study, led by University of California Irvine, Chicago Zoological Society/ Brookfield Zoo and University of Florida , analysed data on bottlenose dolphins, beluga whales & white-sided dolphins from 43 institutions in seven countries.


This study provides new findings, information and tools to enhance cetacean welfare, including a new app "ZooPhysioTrak", a database of health and welfare biomarkers to assist institutions with their assessments.


Photo: Georgia Aquarium

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"Library of DNA" Stored Underground at Antwerp Zoo

May 25, 2021

Safely kept underground at Antwerp Zoo is a Biobank, containing all sorts of samples from a variety of species. This "library of DNA", which can be preserved in "super freezers" for a very long time, is a very important research tool that can help conservation efforts for threatened species.

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Rotterdam Zoo is "Field Lab" for Technological Innovations

May 10, 2021

The Diergaarde Blijdorp/Rotterdam Zoo is a "field lab" for Technische Universiteit Delft, providing the grounds for testing technological innovations in water management and green energy production. Some of the projects include energy production from polluted water ponds, wastewater purification using plants and rainwater storage and reusing.

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Scientific Breakthrough with the Production of the First Female Bison Pregnancy Using Sex-Sorted Sperm 

May 2, 2021

A team of researchers achieved a scientific breakthrough by producing the first ever female bison pregnancy via artificial insemination using sex-sorted sperm. This achievement is the result of a partnership between Toronto Zoo and University of Saskatchewan, which aims to facilitate conservation breeding efforts for the wood bison by increasing the number of females in herds.

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Rotterdam Zoo & Wageningen University Collaborating on Research on Asian Elephant Genetic Health

April 16, 2021

The Rotterdam Zoo & Wageningen University are collaborating on a large-scale research study on the genetic health of captive and wild Asian elephants, a project that has just been awarded a grant by NWO (Dutch Research Council)..


Rotterdam Zoo manages the EAZA Ex-Situ Programme (EEP) for the Asian elephant and this research will help informing conservation efforts for this endangered species.

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Brookfield Zoo's Wild Dolphin Research Program is the Longest-Running in the World

April 5, 2021

The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program has been running for 50 years - the world's longest-running study of wild dolphins. Both the research programme and the Sarasota dolphin population are used as models for other dolphin research & conservation programmes.


The programme has been operated by Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo since 1989.

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Research at French Zoo Helping to Refine Robot for Penguin Research in the Wild

March 16, 2021

A research project at Parc zoologique de Paris, with CNRS & Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien - IPHC, is assessing the behavioural response of the zoo-housed Humboldt penguins to two remotely controlled robots. The aim is to refine the design of the robots, so they can be used to approach and study penguin populations in the natural habitat.


Research on Zoo Elephants Helping to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflicts in the Wild

February 26, 2021

Zoo Research for In-Situ Conservation! The elephants at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are an integral part of a project that is developing technology to reduce human-wildlife conflicts in Africa & Asia.


A database of thermal images from the zoo-housed elephants is being used to set up cameras to recognise elephants based on their body heat. These cameras can detect nearby elephants, at day or night, and send an alert!

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Perspective: "Unleashing the conservation potential of captive parrots by enabling wild behaviours"

January 27, 2021

Our own director Ricardo and his PhD supervisor, Dr. Jackie Chappell, wrote a perspective piece on the importance of enabling natural behaviours in captive parrots, not only for animal welfare in captivity but also for the conservation of their wild counterparts! This is part of Ricardo's PhD research at the University of Birmingham.

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First Evidence of Biofluorescence in Tasmanian Devils Documented by Zoo Researchers

December 16, 2020

The researchers at The Toledo Zoo documented what is believed to be the first evidence of biofluorescence in Tasmanian devils. Despite the exciting findings, there is much we don't know about this phenomenon in this species and further research is required!

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Loro Parque Supports Research for Threatened Ray Species

October 14, 2020

🌊Loro Parque supports in-situ research for the mantelina, a threatened ray species. The acoustic tagging of some wild individuals, which took place last week, will allow researchers to find out more about the species' habitat use in the Canary Islands.

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Younger Singaporeans More Likely to Support Conservation - WRS Survey

October 2, 2020

A survey conducted by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) found that younger Singaporeans are more likely to support conservation efforts...
☑️Ages 16-24: 50% claimed to support conservation efforts;
☑️Ages 45-54: only 20% claimed to do so.
☑️61% claimed the biggest barrier to support conservation was not knowing where to begin.
☑️WRS suggests volunteering to start with!

☑️61% of visitors to WRS zoos learned new facts about animals during visits.
☑️31% of the visiting children showed increased interest in caring for biodiversity.


Zoo-Supported Project by Polar Bears International is Monitoring Polar Bear Movements & Sea Ice Extensions

July 24, 2020

Supported by several zoos, Polar Bears International is tracking the polar bear movements and sea ice extensions in Hudson Bay. This research is fundamental to further understand how polar bears are coping with the on-going melting of the sea ice, caused by climate change.

Zoo-Supported Research is Allowing to Track & Study Red Pandas in the Wild

June 08, 2020

As part of a long-term monitoring initiative by Red Panda Network, 10 red pandas were fitted with GPS collars and are being tracked in the forests of Ilam (in the border between Nepal and India). This research is a result of a collaboration between several institutions, including the government of Nepal, Rotterdam Zoo & others, and will allow to learn more about the ecology of this endangered species.

Sun Bear ExSitu Research: Priority Topics

June 02, 2020

If you are interested in doing research on sun bears, have a look at this list of priority topics you can focus on... This document was put together by Free the Bears & the IUCN Bear Specialist Group, with support from partners.

Zoo Attendance Increases with Number, Size and Rareness of Animals

February 05, 2020

A new published study showed that zoos that house more and larger animals have greater attendance, which then results in greater contributions to in-situ conservation! Unusual species and proximity to large populations also positively impacts attendance...


This study was the result of a collaboration between Trinity College Dublin, Species360 & National University of Ireland, Galway, and provides valuable information for zoos to manage (and potentially improve) their attendance.

Living Coasts' New Partnership and Project for the Protection of Torbay's Seagrass Meadows

January 28, 2020

Zoo Conservation, Research and Education in Action at Wild Planet Trust's Living Coasts! In partnership with Valeport, this project aims to protect Torbay's seagrass meadows, the wildlife-rich "underwater gardens" with an important function in fighting climate change, via scientific research and public education!

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