s a small boy I was already a col­lec­tor of ‘nature’. The great out­doors were won­der­ful. I sim­ply could not stop explor­ing the fauna, either by watch­ing or read­ing. It didn’t mat­ter what kind of nature I could explore. Roam­ing the Dutch pold­ers nearby with its cows, or dream­ing of exotic places. I filled many a scrap­book with clip­pings about dan­ger­ous large preda­tors in the jun­gle. And books about amaz­ing nature in far­away coun­tries? I devoured them. So it was no won­der that I wanted to study biol­ogy. That has never hap­pened though. Nev­er­the­less, I did — and still do — visit the exotic places with nature I became so famil­iar with via my books, with great plea­sure. But this doesn’t seem to be an infi­nite opportunity.

I am quite neg­a­tive about the infin­ity of nature as a ‘life-​support sys­tem’ for man. There will soon be no nature left any­more, the way mankind exploits nature. The motto seems to be: con­sume till you drop! We have seen plant and ani­mal species becom­ing extinct at an alarm­ing rate in recent years. Although extinc­tion of species exists since there is life on earth, the rate now is higher than ever.

It is incom­pre­hen­si­ble that it came this far, this deplorable state of nature. Nature seems at a col­li­sion course, caused by Homo sapi­ens. We speak of ecosys­tem ser­vices, but this doesn’t mean flora and fauna just have to serve human­ity and get noth­ing in return. Of course, there are peo­ple who feel quilty and attempt to save the world. I sup­port them whole­heart­edly. Yet, I fear that the point of no return has been passed.

Unfor­tu­nately, the con­sump­tion of the world pop­u­la­tion is still increas­ing. We deplete our source, Mother Nature, and while doing so we threaten our­selves with extinc­tion. In the com­pe­ti­tion for our chang­ing habi­tat we will lose the fight with much more dynamic pop­u­la­tions like micro-​organisms. We dis­cov­ered antibi­otics, but the micro-​organism invented antimi­cro­bial resis­tance. And it seems that they hold out longest. The world will not per­ish, but in the future there will be no place for us. Unless .……?

These gloomy thoughts moti­vated me to enjoy the exist­ing rem­nants of nature even more. And pick up where I left a long time ago: col­lect­ing ‘nature’, in word and image, but this time in an elec­tronic scrap­book. So, I launched my first web­site (Moos​Mood​.com), where I addressed the sources which inspired me most. After some years of ‘col­lect­ing’ I learned to appre­ci­ate the world of zoos more and more. This appre­ci­a­tion and the acquired infor­ma­tion comes together in this web­site ded­i­cated to zoos, nature con­ser­va­tion and more.

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
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