Meeting of the VdZ Science and Research Working Group Frankfurt Zoo
Species360 Conservation Science Alliance (CSA) team member, Dr. Johanna Staerk was recently invited to speak at the VdZ Science and Research Working Group meeting (VdZ AG Wissenschaft und Forschung) at Frankfurt Zoo. The event brought together more than 60 scientific experts from zoos that belong to the German Association of Zoological Gardens (VdZ). In total, about 50 institutions were represented by the experts in Frankfurt.
The Science and Research Working Group, founded in 2020, discussed the expansion of research activities at the Zoo as a research location. The meeting was led by Prof. Dr. Jörg Junhold, president of the VdZ and director of Leipzig Zoo, and Dr. Julia Kögler, deputy managing director of the association and was kindly hosted by Frankfurt Zoo.
“Species conservation and research are the most important tasks of scientifically managed zoos, and their importance is growing rapidly – analogous to the changes in our environment,” explains Frankfurt Zoo Director Dr. Christina Geiger.
Many subjects were discussed during this meeting, including how to best measure and develop animal welfare standards in zoos.
Research fellow Dr. Johanna Staerk presented recent research activities of the CSA, such as preliminary results from the Sex-difference in survival working group analysing life-expectancy differences in mammals and birds. She also showed how historical analyses of ZIMS data could help to assess management improvements of zoo-held marine mammals and primates. Moreover, participants were keen to learn how to better access ZIMS data for their own research, for example, by becoming research partners, or via research requests.
You can read more about Species360’s critical role in data sharing here.