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AboutZoos, Since 2008





201121Dec16:37

Zoo species’ con­ser­va­tion is suc­cess­ful, to a cer­tain extent

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pub­lished 21 Decem­ber 2011 | mod­i­fied 23 Decem­ber 2011
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Recent assess­ment of the sta­tus of the world’s ver­te­brates, using the IUCN Red List, shows an increase of species being clas­si­fied as ‘Threat­ened’. With­out species con­ser­va­tion efforts this rate of dete­ri­o­ra­tion would have been one-​fifth higher.

There are 34 ani­mal species clas­si­fied as Extinct in the Wild on the IUCN Red List of Threat­ened Species, mean­ing that these species are known only to sur­vive in human care. Promi­nent exam­ples of species clas­si­fied as Extinct in the Wild include the scimitar-​horned oryx (Oryx dammah), Père David’s deer (Ela­phu­rus david­i­anus) and Socorro dove (Zenaida graysoni). 85% of species clas­si­fied as Extinct in the Wild are actively bred in zoos, aquar­i­ums and other ani­mal prop­a­ga­tion facilities.

The recent eval­u­a­tion of the impact of con­ser­va­tion on the sta­tus of the world’s ver­te­brates, pub­lished in the jour­nal Sci­ence, showed that con­ser­va­tion breed­ing in zoos and aquar­i­ums played a role in the recov­ery of 28% of the 68 species whose threat sta­tus was reduced accord­ing to the IUCN Red List. In this eval­u­a­tion, species pre­vi­ously clas­si­fied as “Extinct in the Wild” that have improved in sta­tus to “Crit­i­cally Endan­gered” or “Endan­gered” thanks to the rein­tro­duc­tion of captive-​bred ani­mals include the Przewalski’s horse (Equus ferus prze­wal­skii), black-​footed fer­ret (Mustela nigripes) and Cal­i­for­nia con­dor (Gymno­gyps cal­i­for­ni­anus).

Nev­er­the­less, on aver­age, 52 species of mam­mals, birds, and amphib­ians move one cat­e­gory closer to extinc­tion each year. So, cur­rent con­ser­va­tion efforts remain insuf­fi­cient to off­set the main dri­vers of bio­di­ver­sity loss in these groups: agri­cul­tural expan­sion, log­ging, over­ex­ploita­tion, and inva­sive alien species. (Sources: web­site WAZA; Sci­ence, 10.12.2010)

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Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
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