Facing Difficult Decisions in Captive Populations

At the highest level, perhaps the most difficult values-based question is what to save. As we have learned in Lees and Wilcken (2009) and Lacy (2013), the world of captive populations is driven by the resources that are available. For this assignment, you are going to pretend you are the director of a new zoo. A mining company has just given you 10,000 acres of a reclaimed strip mine and your job is to decide and convince your board which strategic direction you should take for your new zoo. You get to choose a lineage of very imperiled species to focus on. Here is a list of groups that would fit this bill. You can also find your own:
Freshwater turtles
Pangolins
Primates
Salamanders
Freshwater mussels
Freshwater snails
Cycads
Bats
Wild canids
Wild felines
Lemurs
Baking yeast
Etc.

Let’s assume for the purposes of this exercise that you are well-funded and that while bringing the public in is a goal, you don’t need to draw huge crowds.

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Strategic Direction 1: Start captive populations for as many species as possible, Including extremely rare species on the brink of extinction (only a few individuals left in the world).
Strategic Direction 2: Start large captive populations for a few select species that are rare but still have at least hundreds of individuals left.

Write a persuasive report on which strategic direction you think your new zoo should take and why. Make sure to defend your argument using the resources provided and any others you can find. There are no wrong answers here, so don’t be afraid to take either view. There are very valid arguments to be made for both sides.
You may choose either Strategic Direction.

The rubric is also in attachments as well as helpful reading supplements to source

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