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Pettersson, Anna, 2022. Conservation education at the zoo. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development

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Historically, the first existence of zoological gardens (zoos) goes back as long as 4 500 years ago. At that time, keeping animals in captivity was a way to show high societal status with money and power. Much has happened since then, and the modern zoos of today have a main focus on conservation, education, research and animal welfare. The aim of this master’s thesis is to examine how four Swedish modern zoos communicate and educate their visitors about conservation. Further, the effect of these efforts was investigated in terms of potential behaviour changes among visitors. The methods I used consisted of interviews with five employees who work at the zoos, as well as reading reports and scientific articles. My results show that there is continuous work being done at the zoos to develop their work with conservation education and how they communicate about conservation. Many different ways are used to educate visitors, for example viewings, signs, guided tours and theme days. I also concluded that it can be difficult for visitors to change their behaviours after a zoo visit, despite the information they get. I looked through the lens of “The theory of planned behaviour” since that theory could help to explain the disconnection between information and behaviour change. Furthermore, my results suggest that it would be good to initiate systematic evaluations to optimize the communication methods to visitors. My results also show that there are ways to contribute to the conservation work at Swedish zoos, but that the suggestions to visitors are currently almost exclusively about donating money. Advising visitors on how they can take action in their daily lives in favour of conservation would probably be important to prevent further species extinction and habitat loss in the future.

Main title:Conservation education at the zoo
Authors:Pettersson, Anna
Supervisor:Nordström Källström, Helena
Examiner:Westberg, Lotten
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2022
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:Zoo, conservation education, communication, the theory of planned behaviour
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Nature conservation and land resources
Deposited On:13 Oct 2022 06:22
Metadata Last Modified:14 Oct 2022 01:06

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