Conservation Priorities

In Conservation Priorities, students find out about the way that science is practiced within the Zoological Society of London. The session focuses on how we study and apply science, in order to achieve conservation for animals and habitats, including conservation research and in-situ conservation, with real case studies used throughout.

The session brings to life our ZSL’s EDGE of Existence project, and how science can be used to make decisions in conservation.

In groups, the students are allocated an animal and asked to put together a case for why that species should receive funding for conservation. At the end of the session the groups present their case to the rest of the class, and a vote is taken to decide which species should be awarded the money

Conservation map of the world

Key Stage: Post-16

Duration: 60 min

Capacity: 35 students


National Curriculum / Specification Links (from September 2015):

AQA Biology

3.7.4 – Populations in Ecosystems (A-level only).

  • show understanding of the need to manage the conflict between human needs and conservation in order to maintain the sustainability of natural resources

Edexcel Biology A

Topic 4 – Biodiversity and Natural Resources

  • 4.1 – Know that over time the variety of life has become extensive but is now being threatened by human activity.
  • 4.16 – Be able to evaluate the methods used by zoos and seed banks in the conservation of endangered species and their genetic diversity, including scientific research, captive breeding programmes, reintroduction programmes and education.

OCR Biology A

4.2.1 – Biodiversity

  • (f)   The factors affecting biodiversity.
  • (g) The ecological, economic and aesthetic reasons for maintaining biodiversity
  • (h)  In-situ and ex-situ methods for maintaining biodiversity.


Intended learning outcomes:

Students will be able to:

  • Gain an understanding of how science is used within the different areas of the organisation, in order help the conservation of animals, through various case studies and examples.


For this session:

Before you visit:

While at the Zoo:


Link to session



Tanzania Carnivore project


Amur Tiger

Amur Leopard and Tiger Conservation


Pygmy Hippo

Pygmy Hippo Conservation project


Post-visit resources:

  • Students may want to visit the science ( and conservation ( pages of the ZSL website to find out more about science in action and conservation work that ZSL is involved in.
  • They may also want to visit the ZSL library in order to access books and journals about their topic. For more information please see


Prepare for your Conservation Projects session with our information pack:

PDF icon Pre-visit sheet - Conservation Projects (KS5) (492.53 KB)