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Biodiversity conservation in a changing world - 28/02/11

Protecting the world’s biodiversity will be the subject of a free talk offered by the University of Bristol in partnership with Bristol Zoo Gardens next week (March 9).

Entitled, Biodiversity conservation in a changing world, the talk will be given by Georgina Mace, Professor of Conservation Science and Director of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Population Biology at Imperial College London.

The event will be held at the University’s Wills Memorial Building, in Clifton on Wednesday March 9, from 6pm.

Professor Mace said: “Following intergovernmental negotiations in Japan, we have a new set of commitments for the conservation and management of global biodiversity. Many of these targets set by governments for 2020 are ambitious, especially considering the rate of change in the environment that is anticipated over the same time period.

“In this talk I will discuss some of the challenges and introduce ways and means that scientific research and practical conservation might be corralled to help us meet these important targets.”

The talk forms part of a series of events being held as part of celebrations for Bristol Zoo’s 175th anniversary this year. The Director of Bristol Zoo, Dr Bryan Carroll, explains: “Our vision is to create a sustainable future for wildlife and people, and biodiversity is at the heart of that. We aim to maintain and defend biodiversity through breeding endangered species, conserving threatened species in the wild and promoting the natural world, and this talk is a fantastic reflection of that, as we celebrate our milestone year.”

He added: “Biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth, is essential to sustaining the living networks and systems that provide us all with health, wealth, food, fuel and the vital services our lives depend on.

“Humankind has the power to protect or destroy biodiversity, but many of our current activities are threatening the world’s environments, plants and animals at an increasingly alarming rate.”

Through Bristol Zoo’s sister organisation, the BristolConservation and Science Foundation, we have a dedicated team which focuses on conservation research and field projects. They aim to support species and eco-systems both here in the UK and abroad.

Dr Carroll added: “Our ultimate aim is to halt species extinctions, which are obviously the most irreversible aspect of biodiversity loss. The more species we lose the more likely that permanent damage is done to the ecosystems and the life support systems we rely on. But we can prevent them if we act now and build biodiversity protection into our lifestyles.

“We are a leading conservation and education charity and we aim to combat the problems facing our planet by researching these threats, working to overcome them and communicating the findings to a wider audience, so that more people – today and tomorrow – help save species.”

Biodiversity conservation in a changing world will be held in the Reception Room, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, on Wednesday, March 9 from 6pm. Booking is required online at http://bristolzoo175.eventbrite.comor contact Nicola Fry telephone: 0117 9288515

For more information about other events as part of Bristol Zoo Gardens’ 175th anniversary year, visit the Zoo website at or phone 0117 974 7300.


For press enquiries please contact the University of Bristol press office on: 0117 3318092.

Alternatively, contact Bristol Zoo’s press office:

Lucy Parkinson, T: 0117 974 7306, or email:

Vanessa Hollier, T: 0117 974 7309, email:

Notes to the Editor:

Professor Georgina Mace


Bristol Zoo Gardens

  • Bristol Zoo is open from 9am every day except Christmas Day. 
  • Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on income from visitors and supporters to continue its important work. 
  • In 2011 Bristol Zoo celebrates its 175th anniversary and wants to do more than celebrate.
  • Over that past 175 years, the Zoo has brought six generations of Bristolians closer to wildlife, helped save over 175 species from extinction, established over 30 field conservation and research programmes   all over the world, showed 40 millionschool aged children the wonder of nature and given more than 90 million visitors a wonderful day out.
  • Throughout 2011 we’re bringing people, businesses, charities and wildlife together to share amazing experiences that raise awareness and funds to save threatened wildlife and places. To find out more, visit
  • Throughout 2011 we will be focusing our efforts on raising funds and awareness in support of gorilla conservation.
  • Throughout 2011 Bristol Zoo will support theEuropean Association of Zoos and Aquaria Ape Campaign.The campaign aims to make a significant and lasting contribution to the continued survival of apes and their habitats, and is being led by Dr Bryan Carroll, the Director of Bristol Zoo.
  • To find out more about the EAZA Ape Campaign visit the Zoo website at
  • Bristol Zoo is involved with more than 100 co-ordinated breeding programmes for threatened wildlife species. 
  • Itemploys over 150 full and part-time staff to care for the animals and run a successful visitor attraction to support its conservation and education work. 
  • Bristol Zoo supports – through finance and skill sharing - 15 projects in the UK and abroad that conserveand protectsome of the world’s most endangered species.
  • In 2010 Bristol Zoo Gardens set up a Conservation Fund to raise vital funds to help care for threatened animals and plants – both in the Zoo and through the conservation work we do in the UK and around the world.
  • Bristol Zoo Gardens is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums. BIAZA represents more than 90 member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums.


The University of Bristol

The University of Bristol is consistently ranked among the leaders in UK higher education.  Research-intensive and with an international reputation for quality and innovation, the University has 17,000 students from over 100 countries, together with more than 5,500 staff.  In terms of the number of applications per undergraduate place, Bristol is arguably the most popular university in the country.

The University was founded in 1876 and was granted its Royal Charter in 1909.  It was the first university in England to admit women on the same basis as men.  It is located in the heart of the city from which it grew, but is now a significant player on the world stage as well as a major force in the economic, social and cultural life of Bristol and South West England.