Special Issue "Zoos as a Tool for Re-Connecting People with Nature"
A special issue of Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens (ISSN 2673-5636).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.
Interests: conservation biology
Biodiversity is drastically declining due to human activities. Although behavioural change can protect species and habitats, lack of public interest complicates conservation efforts. One aspect of the biodiversity crisis is the “extinction” of experiences of nature. Some authors have proposed that combined effects of urbanization, biodiversity loss and the Western way of life induce emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral changes, which then affect the importance assigned to nature.
Some research studies have demonstrated the importance of experiencing nature during childhood. Indeed, limited contacts with nature during childhood are suspected to decrease the prominence of environmental concern in adults, but little research effort has focused on the role of attachment to particular natural places in an individual’s relationship with nature more generally. Authors have suggested that zoos and aquariums provide an opportunity as a substitute to nature in an urban context.
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums reports over 700 million visits a year. Besides their direct conservation mission, this large audience provides zoos an opportunity to provide environmental education. Indeed, research has shown that zoo visits can increase knowledge; however, knowledge alone is not enough. Environmental education is asked to help individuals not only to acquire knowledge but also to eventually adopt environmental behaviors in their everyday lives. Education in a zoo setting has the potential to increase concern and engagement. The opportunity to view an animal in close contact appears to elicit an emotional response and to allow people to strengthen a felt relationship or connection to animals. Evidence from a number of studies suggests that zoos can increase not just concern about the animals that are observed but also a more general environmental concern, encouraging people to make the connection from specific animals to species in general and biodiversity.
In this Special Issue, we encourage authors to propose research articles, meta-analyses, or review articles to explore the potential of zoo visits in promoting long-term engagement with biodiversity and/or in the adoption of pro-conservation behaviors and to contribute to concern about environmental issues or more generally to reconnect to nature.
All manuscripts submitted to this Special Issue will have publication fees fully waived. Please contact the Editorial Office ([email protected]) if you have any questions.
Dr. Michel Saint-Jalme
Dr. Sarah Spooner
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Conservation education
- Environment education
- Zoo education
- Science education
- Experience of nature
- Visitor experience
- Public engagement
- Connectedness to nature
- Behavioural change
- Education evaluation practice
- How to talk to visitors