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u Zoologists not only run zoos, but they also study animals in the wild, practice conservation biology, and much more. They study the entire natural world, all the complicated interactions and systems in the environment, and how they can best be managed for the health of the entire planet.

u While most of the time the public sees a zoo as an entertaining and educational way to spend a Saturday afternoon—and it is— an average accredited zoo is also a vital part of research and conservation activities going on across the world.

u Conservation biologists study the Earth’s biodiversity and figure out ways to protect and preserve it in a way that benefits the individual animals and all life on the planet. They evaluate how animals interact with their habitats and with humans, and they also evaluate the health of those habitats. Our environments are healthier and more resilient if they can keep their historical compliment of diversity.
u  A habitat evolves as an integrated system, from the tiny bacteria in the soil to the largest mammals. When something throws that system off—for example, a sudden reduction or explosion in the population size of a species—it has a cascade effect on all the other living things in that system.
u Human activities, such as pollution, encroachment, introduction of foreign species, creation of monocultures, and poaching of plants and animals can throw a system out of balance. Human needs and desires often come into conflict with the rest of the living things around us. But we need these systems just as much as the animals do.