The Greensboro Science Center is gearing up to host Endangered Species Day. As a member of AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) the staff at the GSC work closely with others to provide the public with educational materials and tools needed to help save species in the wild.
Zoos are a great way to see rare and often exotic animals in a safe, compact setting. Animals in AZA facilities have pretty good digs, shelter from the weather, guaranteed meals, the best medical attention around and safety. Zoo animals don’t have to worry about where their next meal will come from or whether there are predators lurking nearby. But this isn’t the case for animals in the wild. Wild animals face many challenges daily.
Elton John got it right when he belted out the Circle of Life. The thing about a circle is that is has no end or beginning, it is continuous. However, if the circle is compromised it loses its shape and integrity. All the animals and habitats in a food web need to be there to maintain that web, or circle. You remove one, be it the bottom of the food chain or the top, you break the circle. There are huge ramifications for doing that. As though daily life for a wild animal isn’t already tough, alter the food web and now their lives are even more difficult.
It only takes the alteration of a single component of that circle to start a cascade of events that often culminates in species decline. And now to introduce Endangered Species Day….. AZA facilities realize the best option they have to tell the story of endangered and extinct species is through conservation education. It helps that zoos and aquariums are home to many species listed as endangered.
What does it mean to be endangered?
This means a species is at a high risk of going extinct. There are many reasons why species become endangered but ultimately, it is one step closer to extinction.
The Center is home to a variety of animals that are listed as endangered. On May 15th we will provide our guests with an opportunity to learn more about our endangered species. Zoo Keepers will provide presentations throughout the day highlighting the species that live at the Center whose wild cousins are on the endangered species list.
We hope you can join us to learn about these majestic species and why we need to do our part to preserve the precious species we have.