From Z(oos) to A(rks)

May 30, 2012

Scientists at the Central Park Zoo studied the zoo's colony of Chinese mergansers, noting the growth and development of hatchlings. Their research will help global conservationists better understand these endangered birds.

Zoo-based scientists are able to collect data that sometimes eludes field conservationists seeking crucial information for protecting animals in the wild. The handy information sharing between zoo and field scientists recently occurred here at the Central Park Zoo, home to a group of scaly-sided mergansers, a rare duck indigenous to Russia, China, and North Korea. The ducks, which live in the pond at the Tisch Children’s Zoo, serve as an assurance population for their wild cousins. Central Park Zoo experts gathered key information about the birds’ growth and development, then sent the findings to their colleagues in the Far East. 

To learn more about how work in zoos can impact field conservation, read Leslie Kaufman's blog for the New York Times.