The team at http://www.SafeguardingSpecies.org
includes celebrity zoologist Dr. Grey Stafford who has followed in the footsteps of Jack Hanna. Like Jack, who is a TV personality and Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Dr. Stafford has spent his career engaging TV audiences through encounters with wildlife. Grey serves as an ambassador for zoological parks committed to preserving wild animal species on the verge of extinction.
The team also includes Billy Hurley who was the Senior Vice President for veterinary and animal care services at Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium, which was the largest aquarium in the world when it opened 11 years ago. Billy is a noted marine science expert and is committed to preserving aquatic ecosystem health as much as the health of aquatic animals living in freshwater and marine habitats around the world.
Board member Conrad Schmitt has worked in management positions at as many as seven accredited zoos in the US. Among these roles, he served as an animal care manager at the San Diego Zoo, Curator of Mammals at Zoo Miami and most recently as Executive Director of Florida’s Center for the Conservation of Tropical Ungulates. He has traveled widely in Africa and Asia working with elephants and rhinos and antelope and rare wild cattle species. He is dedicated to the welfare of terrestrial species in nature and those housed in zoos.
Board member Sandra Dee Robinson is a wildlife conservationist, former regular and guest actress on Daytime and Primetime television shows and co-hosted a radio program with Jordan, Grey and Conrad, which introduced popular audiences to the work of zoo biologists and field biologists serving to conserve nature. Sandra also owns a media training firm and will serve as a spokesperson and brand manager for our team.
As of late, zoos and aquariums have come under scrutiny in media outlets, but the animals in human care at reputable zoological facilities around the world continue to benefit from human interaction and live prolonged lives in safe enclosures. Their existence may be different than that of their free-roaming counterparts who face many challenges from living in degraded habitats as a result of human encroachment.
Animals in nature are exposed to noise and chemical pollution and deforestation among other human generated stressors, and their quality of life continues to deteriorate. In zoos and aquariums, the quality of life of animals is continually improved upon through advances in science and veterinary medicine and they serve as ambassadors for their species according to millions of children and adults.
Indeed, animals in human care help us educate many people around the globe who are otherwise disconnected to nature. In addition, many field biologists are employed by zoological parks. Their collaboration with zoo keepers, curators and veterinarians in zoos serves to enhance the quality of life for the animals in human care. For instance, our understanding of animals in zoos and aquariums through studying them intimately has helped us manage free-roaming populations, which increasingly rely on intervention by people to survive sustainably.
Among other initiatives, Safeguarding Species intends to serve as a catalyst for public communication regarding the science-based conservation initiatives of zoos and aquariums and as a conduit for zoo professionals to share what goes on behind-the-scenes at these conservation centers. – Dr. Jordan Carlton Schaul https://www.facebook.com/jordan.schaul/