Dartmoor Zoo has a very active research programme covering a variety of subjects at all academic levels.
We have strong links with local universities and colleges which enable us to conduct research into cognition, behaviour, conservation, animal welfare and breeding. We are also creating projects which examin aspects of the social sciences, including visitor attitudes which measure the effectiveness of our education and science communications activities.
Our dedicated in-house research team composed of staff and volunteers create, undertake and review research programmes throughout the year. Over the next year, we plan to extend links with scientific institutions and further develop our in-house research team. In particular, we plan to develop a programme looking specifically at animal psychology.
If you would like to participate in the DZP research programme in any way, please contact our Conservation & Research Officer, Adam Cook.
Most of our studies fit in the following catagories:
Dartmoor Zoo currently has breeding programs to help safeguard species against the threat of extinction.
These programs are often long term and involve extensive planning and expertise on issues such as biology and enclosure use. Breeding programs currently underway include Bicoloured Frog and Azara's Agouti.
Cognitive and Behavioural Studies
Observing animals can teach us a lot about how they socialise, learn and adapt. It can even unlock clues as to our own development. Most studies at Dartmoor Zoo come under the heading of ‘behaviour’ and they can go a long way to learning more about the animal kingdom and ourselves.
Conservation and Social Studies
It’s not just the animals that are studied here at Dartmoor Zoo. We want to know how well we teach the public about animal conservation and how well we can make this even better! Studies with Plymouth University are investigating the attitudes of the general public toward conservation and measuring how much we can afect those attitudes positively. The results will help us and other zoos to improve the way we teach about conservation.
Husbandry and Welfare Studies
Research on our animals is helping to improve the way in which captive animals are cared for. Dartmoor zoo has studies looking at enclosure use, enrichment and nutrition which are helping to create ways to better improve animal welfare supported by reliable scientific evidence.