Conservation and Environmental Education at the San Diego Zoo

As I mentioned in my southern California explorations series last week, I visited the San Diego Zoo while on vacation in December 2013. Obviously, through the bus tour and volunteers on the street, we were told about wildlife conservation strategies and how the zoo is working toward bringing species back from their endangered listing on the IUCN Red List.

Example of the IUCN Red List designation – lower right of plaque

Even though I am interested in the conservation of species, I was delighted to see environmental conservation posters, displays and signs as well!

Sign in the concrete at the zoo – it is wet, ironically, but from the rain that day!

One of my favorite was the water conservation/recycling display. While walking through an exhibit, visitors could stop to read signs about why water conservation is important and how recycling works to decrease the amount of waste! Below are examples of a couple of signs throughout the zoo:

Water conservation sign
Recycling sign

Another exhibit that caught my eye was the carbon graph explaining how carbon emissions cause global warming.

Lower half of the large carbon emissions graph – the numbers on the bottom are dates, and the red line is the amount of carbon emissions.

This display was appropriately located next to the polar bear exhibit. The photo above shows the level of carbon in our atmosphere in earlier days, while the photo below shows the exponential growth of carbon emissions should humans continue to burn fossil fuels at the rate we do now.

Graph with optimum, current and future carbon levels

It is also worth noting that all the benches in the zoo are durawood – a material made of recycled plastics.

That’s all for now at the zoo – thanks for visiting my blog, and if you ever get a chance to visit the zoo, please do! Click here to visit the panda exhibit through the panda cam – one of my favorites!

Mama Panda – with a smile!
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