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An integral component of successful zoo-based conservation.
Zoos Victoria is committed to conducting research that enhances our capacity to conserve wildlife and enhance the welfare of animals in our care. Research provides us with the knowledge to make informed decisions, and reveals ways we can improve our activities, from animal keeping to education and threatened species recovery.
Scientific research is an essential tool for acquiring knowledge, solving problems and aiding evidence-based decision making. Consequently, applied research is integral to Zoos Victoria in achieving our conservation and management objectives.
Applied research underpins the improved effectiveness of our direct conservation activities, including captive-breeding and reintroduction programs, and in situ conservation programs. Research is also central to improving the health, welfare and husbandry of our collection animals. Moreover, the effectiveness of Zoos Victoria’s community conservation programs benefit from on-going research. The focus of our applied research is to understand and provide solutions to problems that are evident or foreseen within our conservation programs and collection management activities.
Zoos Victoria will focus on applied research that has tangible outcomes for the key areas of:
- Direct conservation
- Animal care and wellbeing
- Visitor experience and community conservation
- Within these broad areas, we have identified a number of research ‘themes’ that align with Zoos Victoria’s strategic goals and operational imperatives.
Key research themes
- Wildlife captive breeding and re-introduction
- Animal health & nutrition
- Animal husbandry & welfare
- Reproductive science
- Wildlife rehabilitation & management
- Threat mitigation to fighting extinction of species in the wild
- Visitor experiences
- Community conservation
Zoos Victoria is currently engaged in over 50 research projects with a diverse range of partners. Priority projects include:
- Developing captive husbandry protocols for the Critically Endangered Baw Baw Frog at Melbourne Zoo
- Testing the efficacy of reintroduction methods used in wildlife rehabilitation
- Understanding the behaviour of released Helmeted Honeyeaters
- Developing improved enrichment methods for fur-seals.
Animal ethics committee
Zoos Victoria’s Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) is made up of a range of representatives as required by the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes. Zoos Victoria’s AEC meets on a bi-monthly basis to assess and review the ethical considerations of each research proposal.