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The Shape of Enrichment, Inc is operated entirely by volunteers

Margaret Hawkins


Positions: Shape of Enrichment Secretary, Core Group, Shape—Australasia Committee Member


Margaret Hawkins has been involved in the work of Taronga Conservation Society of Australia at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo for more than thirty years, initially as a volunteer. Observation requests from staff lead her to form the Taronga Animal Watch program. This program has expanded to play an important operational and research role and has now become the Behavioural Studies Unit, a section of the Scientific Research and Wildlife Conservation Department. Margaret became a member of zoo staff and remains the TCSA’s Behavioural Biologist. Highlights of her zoo career have been her involvement in the introduction of rescued chimpanzees to Ngamba Island Sanctuary in Uganda and the monitoring of the first successful breeding of platypus at the zoo.


In the mid-nineties, Margaret became involved in environmental enrichment in the zoo and this quickly became one of her passions, especially after attending 3rd International Conference on Environmental Enrichment (ICEE) in Florida USA in 1997 (and every ICEE since). Taronga hosted to the 5th ICEE in 2001 and Margaret has served on the ICEE Committee ever since. She has now taken on the position of secretary for The Shape of Enrichment Inc.


As well as facilitating enrichment at Taronga Zoo, she promotes enrichment in the region by regularly running enrichment workshops at the Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping annual conferences, presenting enrichment talks and workshops at Regional and International zoo and scientific conferences, and compiling and co-editing the Environmental Enrichment Handbook for Australian Animals. She has been involved in keeper training and is the coordinator of a captive vertebrate behaviour course at Charles Sturt University.


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