The Importance of Zoo Labs

Successful wildlife conservation efforts require the collaboration of many stakeholders - field staff, local community members, and, in many cases, zoo laboratories. Zoo labs can analyze genetic information of captive and wild animal populations and exchange information with field staff. This exchange of information is vital for ensuring the continued genetic diversity of wild populations, especially with captive breeding and reintroduction of captive animals into the wild. Reintroduction efforts involve thoughtful preparation and planning and would not be possible without the dedication of everyone involved. Field staff rely on the support of local community members as well as zoo labs to ensure the physical and genetic health of the reintroduced animals.

This story was made possible through a collaboration with RZSS -
the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

Connecting Conservation to the Classroom

Hear from both a WCS and RZSS educator about how zoo labs can inspire interdisciplinary learning in the high school classroom.

Standards and Glossary • English | Español

Using Genetic Information for Conservation Decisions

Conservationists often rely on genetic analysis to help them better understand populations of animals and make recommendations about which captive animals to reintroduce to the wild.

Lesson Plan • English | Español

Wildcat Identification: Phenotypes and Genotypes

Scientists use both genotypic and phenotypic data to help with the conservation of the wildcat in Scotland. This species is the last wild cat species in the United Kingdom and is approaching extinction.

Lesson Plan • English | Español

Conservation Management: Protection and Reintroduction

Take on the role of a conservationist to assess real world data and determine the value of a habitat range as a protected area.

Lesson Plan • English | Español

To learn more about our partner, RZSS, check out their websites: and
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Facebook (@RZSS and @RZSSlearning)

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