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Botanic gardens and herbaria
The ABS Botanic Gardens Census, which was a census of employing organisations whose main activity was the operation of botanic gardens, showed there were 11.8 million visits to botanic gardens during 1999-2000. This includes visits by Australian adults, children, and people from outside Australia, as well as multiple visits by individuals. The six largest botanic gardens (i.e. those employing 50 or more persons) accounted for 61.9% of these visits at an average of 332,000 visits per location.
Botanic gardens industry
The ABS Botanic Gardens Census in respect of 1999-2000 found there were 72 employing organisations operating botanic gardens at 123 locations at the end of June 2000. The operations of these organisations covered 3,664 hectares (ha), comprising 3,050 ha of botanic gardens and 614 ha of arboreta. The organisations employed 1,250 people at the end of June 2000 and utilised the services of 1,991 volunteers during the month of June. Many of the smaller botanic gardens have few or no staff, and are particularly reliant on volunteers for their operation. The 54 smaller organisations, those employing less than ten people, provided paid employment for a total of 156 people at the end of June 2000. They were assisted by 871 volunteers during that month.
Zoological parks and aquariums
Zoological parks and aquariums (i.e. animal, fauna, bird and reptile parks, aquariums, aviaries, butterfly houses and dolphinariums) are primarily engaged in the breeding, preservation, study and display of native and/or exotic fauna in captivity, and are accessible to the general public.
There are zoological parks and aquariums throughout Australia. As well as the four traditional zoos in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, there are numerous wildlife parks and sanctuaries, some of which are associated with urban zoos and others which are privately owned. Some of the better known zoological parks and sanctuaries are Taronga Park (Sydney), Healesville Sanctuary (60 km from Melbourne), the Western Plains Zoo (Dubbo), Victoria's Open Range Zoo at Werribee (a Melbourne suburb), The Territory Wildlife Park (Darwin), Monarto Zoological Park (70 km from Adelaide), Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (Brisbane) and Currumbin Sanctuary (Gold Coast).
More information about Australian zoological parks and aquariums can be obtained from the 'Zoos in Australia' page on the Australian Government's culture and recreation web site, <http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/zoo>.
Attendance at zoological parks and aquariums
The 2002 Survey of Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events showed 40.0% of the population aged 18 years and over (5.8 million people) visited a zoological park or aquarium during the 12 months prior to interview (table 12.6). Of these, 56.3% (3.3 million people, or 22.6% of the Australian population aged 18 years and over) visited a zoo at least once during the year. In 1999 the attendance rate by adults at zoological parks and aquariums was 33.8% (4.8 million people).
Zoological parks and aquariums industry
An ABS survey of the zoological parks and aquariums industry, in respect of 1996-97, showed there were almost 8 million paid admissions to zoological parks and aquariums during that year. At the end of June 1997, there were 65 businesses in this industry, comprising 53 zoological parks and 12 aquariums. There were 1,946 persons employed in the zoological parks and aquariums industry at the end of June 1997. Full-time employees accounted for 65.2% (1,268) of total employment. A further 1,591 persons worked for zoological parks and aquariums on a volunteer basis during June 1997. The majority of these volunteers (75.0%) worked as guides and information officers.