EUREKA -- A free conservation talk on “Species Recovery in the Pacific Northwest: An Opportunity for Zoos and Aquariums” by Oregon Zoo Species Survival Specialist Dr. David Shepherdson will be given at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Sequoia Park Zoo. Attendees will learn about Pacific Northwest species recovery and how zoos can support these efforts through endangered species breeding programs. This talk is part of the zoo's conservation lecture series. Habitat restoration is key to the recovery of most threatened species, but all too often habitat restoration alone is not enough, as has been seen with the Northern spotted owl, California condor, Pacific fisher and many other species. The California condor is a notable example of an alternate solution to successful species survival -- one that utilizes partnerships with zoos for the breeding and rearing of endangered animals for release into the wild. Other opportunities exist with endangered butterflies, frogs, turtles and even rabbits.
The Oregon Zoo in Portland has specialized in zoo breeding for threatened Pacific Northwest species for more than 15 years, and in doing so, has had some great successes and formed some unique partnerships. This lecture will include a journey through the Oregon experience with Shepherdson, who will share more about the important role zoos and aquariums can play in preserving the species diversity of local environments.
”The fields of conservation and animal welfare have not always sat well together,” said Dr. Shepherdson. “However, today's zoos are more focused on conservation than at any time in the past. By plotting a direct path from individual animals to entirely new populations in the wild, zoos and conservationists together can successfully restore species to the wild.”
Shepherdson completed his doctorate in the United Kingdom in the behavioral ecology of wild badgers before starting a job at the Zoological Society of London in 1987. There, he applied animal behavior techniques to assess the effectiveness of environmental enrichment on zoo animals. In 1991, he relocated to the U.S. to continue his work at the Oregon Zoo in Portland. An interest in the welfare of wild populations led Shepherdson to begin work on species recovery programs, a program he continues to grow to this day.
The talk will take place in the zoo's classroom in the Secrets of the Forest building with a reception being held half an hour before the talk starts. There is no charge to attend, and both zoo members and non-members are invited. Enter through the main zoo gates.
Sequoia Park Zoo connects the community with animals to inspire wonder, understanding and conservation of wildlife and the natural world. Established in 1907, it is the oldest zoo in California and one of the smallest accredited zoos in the country.
Sequoia Park Zoo is located at 3414 W St. in Eureka. For more information, visit www.sequoiaparkzoo.net.