Moos’ Blog

Bio­di­ver­sity Counts!
Obser­va­tions and opin­ions con­cern­ing zoos, evo­lu­tion, nature con­ser­va­tion and the way we treat/​support the ecosys­tems which are sup­posed to serve us.


Extinc­tion of species in zoos a loss to soci­ety, yeah right!

pub­lished 25 June 2016 | mod­i­fied 18 Decem­ber 2016

Just recently the Geor­gia Aquar­ium pub­lished a state­ment that they will no longer will source whales and dol­phins from the wild1. This is some­thing to be applauded, espe­cially when you read about the dire sit­u­a­tion of the 18 bel­uga whales that were caught in the wild in the Russ­ian Sea of Okhotsk. They were des­tined to go to the Geor­gia Aquar­ium but despite an import per­mit has been denied they will remain in cap­tiv­ity2.

Bel­uga whales, four of them, at Geor­gia Aquar­ium
This is one of the few species kept at Geor­gia Aquar­ium that has been clas­si­fied by the IUCN Red List of Threat­ened Species™, its sta­tus being Near Threatened:

On the web­pages ded­i­cated to their efforts to import these 18 bel­uga whales, the Geor­gia Aquar­ium states that fail­ure of import and its precedent-​setting con­se­quence will lead to pos­si­ble extinc­tion of bel­uga whales in zoos and aquar­i­ums3. Unfor­tu­nately, this will lead to aquar­ium tanks with­out bel­uga whales. But how dare they speak of extinc­tion of a species in zoos, while the species (hope­fully) will remain in the wild. They obvi­ously lost touch with their mis­sion that above all should focus at con­serv­ing bio­di­ver­sity and as a con­se­quence the pro­tec­tion of species in the wild.
The IUCN Red List of Threat­ened Species’ cat­e­gory IUCN RedList categories before declar­ing a species Extinct is Extinct in the Wild — there is no such thing as Extinct in the Zoo!

Drone Art — Arc­tic Wildlife & Land­scapes, includ­ing bel­uga whales and polar bears
Arc­tic Watch pho­tog­ra­pher Nansen Weber under­took the mis­sion of film­ing on the North­west Pas­sage with the use of a drone:

(Source: 1 Geor­gia Aquar­ium press release, 22.06.2016; 2 Born Free news, 23.06.2016; 3 Bel­uga whales: an uncer­tain future)

Related blogs

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.
Fol­low me on: