Regional zoos in Brazil and their specific role for environmental education

This paper evaluates the specific role that regional zoos might play in promoting general biodiversity education. The perceptions of visitors of four zoos in Santa Catarina State, Brazil were obtained through the application of 400 questionnaires at each zoo. Almost half the visitors sought ‘leisure in nature’ with their families, while in one zoo, the majority of visitors aimed to learn about the fauna through the educational project at this institution. In response to this research, we propose that the primary role of regional zoos should be focused on the promotion of educational programs for environmental conservation of biodiversity.

Keywords: Environmental education, role of zoos, visitor perceptions, native fauna, biodiversity conservation