29 Sep 2006

Leipzig: Annual Meeting of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) recently held its 61st annual meeting in Leipzig. In a series of lectures, 250 zoo directors and scientists from 50 countries presented their zoological work and efforts in species protection. The keynote speeches focused on subjects such as the global amphibian crisis: one-third of all amphibian species worldwide are endangered; over 400 can no longer be saved and 127 are already extinct. The cause of this lies in the destruction of natural habitats and dislocation of species to other biotopes. The climate change and global warming were also central topics of discussion. As an influential factor, the climate change is going to play a bigger role in the future evaluation of the endangerment status of habitats and species. In addition, when planning their livestock, zoos will also be paying closer attention to the species threatened by global warming. Zoo visitors will be more informed about the climate change and global warming in the future. “We have every reason to be highly satisfied with the course of the meeting and its results,” as host and zoo director Dr Jörg Junhold summarised. “We’ve worked hard and the meeting resulted in some homework and new goals for every one of us.” (eap)