Street-smart animals: incorporating cognitive behaviour into conservation efforts

14 May 2019 18:00 - 19:45

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 husbandary purposes, but cognition is generally underutilised in conservation outside captivity. Find out how integrating cognitive mechanisms into conservation strategies offers a new approach that can help animals adapt to fast-changing environments and ensure their survival.

 

Attending this event

  • This Science and Conservation Event is free to attend and booking is not required.
     
  • Venue: Huxley Lecture Theatre, Main Meeting Rooms, ZSL London Zoo. See map
     
  • 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.  More information on ZSL Fellowship can be found here.
     
  • 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 library@zsl.org for further information.
     

Enquiries

  • Contact Jennifer Howes, Scientific Events Coordinator jennifer.howes@zsl.org; 0207 449 6227
     
  • For press enquiries please contact the ZSL Press Office: press.office@zsl.org
     
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