Main conservation efforts can be split into two main fields;
in-situ (in the wild) conservation and ex-situ (in captivity) conservation.
Captive Breeding Programmes: are established for those species that are of high priority to conserve in zoos and wildlife parks on a national or international level. These days most breeding programmes are instigated by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and are known as European Breeding Programmes (EEP). Each EEP is assigned a co-ordinator who has the responsibility of collecting data on a given species and formulating studbooks, with recommendations as to the best pairing of individual animals as to minimise the risk of in-breeding.
Zoos who join the EEP then agree to co-operate within the programme and freely exchange animals for the benefit of the EEP. Managing captive populations of animals globally is one way modern zoos are working to conserve rare species for the future, in the hope that one day, where possible they may be used to re-populate depleted stocks in the wild.
We are also part of several European Studbooks (ESB) – similar to and EEP but the species is only monitored and no breeding recommendations are made by the studbook keeper. Each Taxon (or family group of animals) has its own Taxon Advisory Group (TAG); which oversees all the EEPs and ESBs for those animals. For example, there is a TAG for all rear carnivores in zoos.
There are also other studbooks we contribute towards. These range from national studbooks called Joint Management of Species Programme (JMSP), to International Studbooks (IS); although these are less significant than the European programmes today.