Researchers and veterinary staff at the Oregon Zoo undertake both short-term and multi-year research projects, often in collaboration with other zoos, universities or government agencies charged with conservation and research.
Are you interested in conducting student research at the zoo? Learn more here.
2012 Oregon Zoo staff research projects
In 2012, these projects are new or ongoing:
- Behavior Ecology of Bullfrog Predation on Oregon Spotted Frogs with Portland State University and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Mate Choice in the Giant Panda with Portland State University, China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda and the San Diego Zoo
- Orangutan Welfare Assessment Project with Portland State University
- Orangutan Cognition Study with the National Primate Research Center
- Polar Bear Stereotypy sponsored by Polar Bears International, with Portland State University
- Elephant Welfare Assessment with Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Disney’s Wild Animal Kingdom Honolulu Zoo, Chicago Zoological Society, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Oregon Zoo, Toledo Zoo, University of California-Davis and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Additional consultants include scientists at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Palm Beach Zoo, Columbus Zoo, University of British Columbia, University of Guelph and George Mason University.
- Pygmy Rabbit Behavior and Reproduction with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Northwest Trek, Portland State University and Washington State University, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- California Condor Breeding Behavior with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
- Characterization of Female Asian Elephant Estrous Cycles by measuring progesterone levels over an 18-year period with Portland State University and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
- Foraging Behavior of the Oregon Silverspot Butterfly with Lewis and Clark State College and US Fish and Wildlife Service
Recently completed research projects include:
- Sun Bear Diet Project with Brigham Young University
- Steller Sea Lion Diet Project with Portland State University
- Sea Otter Deslorelin Contraceptive Research with the Seattle Aquarium
- Polar Bear Scent Communication Study with the Oregon Graduate Institute
- Asian Elephant Infrasound Communication with Portland State University
- Pygmy Rabbit Juvenile Behavior with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Analysis of Former Condor Nest Potential along Cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge and Selected Tributaries in Oregon with Portland State University
- Response of Cougars to the Scent of Large Carnivores: Implications for Possible Nonlethal Control with Furman University
Biological materials supplied for research
The Oregon Zoo participates in research led by other institutions, and provides biological materials for specific projects such as:
- Asian elephant blood-serum samples for detection of novel endotheliotropic herpes viruses for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo
- Bornean elephant blood samples for the National Cancer Institute
- Butterfly carcasses for Oregon Health and Science University
- Asian elephant serum for tuberculosis studies at Chembio Diagnostic Systems, Inc.
- Cougar paw prints for validation of cougar-print size statistics for sex determination, for University of California, Davis
- Zebra blood for study of genetics of anthrax resistance for University of California, Berkeley
- Ringtailfeces and urine for camera trapping study in City of Rocks National Reserve, Idaho for the National Park Service
- Crocodile Blood for genetics study, University of Florida
- Elephant hair for study on elephant stress, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute