The Ark and Beyond

The Evolution of Zoo and Aquarium Conservation

Edited by Ben A. Minteer

Can zoos save the world?

Scores of wild species and ecosystems around the world face a variety of human-caused threats, from habitat destruction and fragmentation to rapid climate change. But there is hope, and it, too, comes in a most human form: zoos and aquariums. Gathering a diverse, multi-institutional collection of leading zoo and aquarium scientists as well as historians, philosophers, biologists, and social scientists, "The Ark and Beyond" traces the history and underscores the present role of these organizations as essential conservation actors. It also offers a framework for their future course, reaffirming that if zoos and aquariums make biodiversity conservation a top priority, these institutions can play a vital role in tackling conservation challenges of global magnitude.


Professor Ben A. Minteer is the Arizona Zoological Society Endowed Chair at ASU School of Life Sciences. He is an environmental ethicist and conservation scholar who writes on species extinction, wilderness, zoos, and the evolution of American environmental thought and practice. He has authored more than 70 articles, essays, and book chapters, and has published a number of books.

Praise for this book

In an age of extinction, ‘wild’ places are increasingly being managed like zoos. What role do actual zoos and aquariums have to play? The Ark and Beyond looks at this question from all angles; the result is both informative and thought-provoking.”

Elizabeth Kolbert Author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

"'The Ark and Beyond' is essential reading for anyone interested in our evolving relationship with zoos and aquariums. At the zoo we find ourselves at the shifting borderland between the wild and the walled. This book’s editors and contributors explore that territory, bringing together decades of practical and theoretical expertise in conservation biology, history, and education. Their insights will deeply inform and benefit readers wrestling with the complex questions we find ourselves asking when we lock eyes with our kindred creatures.”

Curt Meine Aldo Leopold Foundation & Center for Humans and Nature
The Ark and Beyond
Date published
The University of Chicago Press

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