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Achieving Conservation Outcomes Through Environmental Interpretation: a Case Study of Zoos Victoria
journal contributionposted on 2017-06-07, 04:36 authored by Broad, Sue, Weiler, Betty
This paper outlines the methods and findings from phase one of a study examining the relationship between interpretation and the achievement of conservation outcomes in the context of captive wildlife attractions, with particular reference to Zoos Victoria. This study has the potential to contribute to theory construction by extending our understanding of the ways in which zoo interpretation leads to conservation outcomes. Such information is vital if zoos are to be managed as sustainable tourism/leisure sites that have the capacity to contribute to conservation. Phase One of the study examines, through a series of workshops, what is meant by terms such as 'positive action for the environment' and 'contribute to conservation', and identifies particular conservation outcomes that could be considered objectives of the education/interpretation programs at each Zoos Victoria property. Workshop responses were allocated to categories and tallied, resulting in some similarities but also some important differences across the three properties with respect to conservation outcomes that should be priorities for the zoo. The results provide some insight into the perspectives of staff and volunteers and lay the groundwork for the remainder of the study, which seeks to observe and quantify the actual conservation outcomes being achieved by zoo interpretation.