Human-induced urbanization, invasive species and land clearing are changing the environment at a far quicker pace than animals are able to adapt. How can animals survive such changes?
Cognitive mechanisms, such as associative learning, can play a crucial role in determining how well animals cope with changing environments.
Previous work with wild animals shows the incredible potential ‘learning’ could have for long-term conservation; for example, by using taste aversion to train animals not to forage on toxic invasive species or by using visual signals to avoid man-made structures such as roads.
Furthermore, new behaviours can be socially learnt in some species; enabling large groups of animals to adopt new behaviours without the need to invest time in training each individual separately.
Captive populations commonly benefit from the use of well-established cognitive techniques for management and husbandry purposes, but cognition is generally underutilised in conservation outside captivity.
This event explored how integrating cognitive mechanisms into conservation strategies offers a new approach that can help animals adapt to fast-changing environments and ensure their survival.
- Graham Martin, Emeritus Professor, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham: "A sideways look through birds' eyes"
- Dr Alex Thornton, Associate Professor of Cognitive Evolution, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus: "Animal cognition in a changing world"
- Robert Harland, Team Leader of Animal Activities at ZSL London Zoo: "Training a rescue serval"
- This Science and Conservation Event is free to attend and booking is not required.
- Venue: Huxley Lecture Theatre, Main Meeting Rooms, ZSL London Zoo.
- Underground – Camden Town Station; Nearest bus - no. 274
- Doors open at 5pm for a 6pm start.
- Seats are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
- A drinks reception for ZSL Fellows and their guests is held from 5 – 5:50pm.
- The ZSL Library will be open to ZSL Fellows before the event and will offer a talk at 4.45pm on 'How to make the most of your library' or `Art works and archives’. Please contact email@example.com for further information.
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