Bring the captive closer to the wild: redefining the role of ex situ conservation

Pritchard, Diana J, Fa, John E, Oldfield, Sara and Harrop, Stuart R (2012) Bring the captive closer to the wild: redefining the role of ex situ conservation. Oryx, 46 (1). pp. 16-23. ISSN 0030-6053

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Abstract

In situ conservation is central to contemporary
global biodiversity protection and is the predominant
emphasis of international regulation and funding strategies.
Ex situ approaches, in contrast, have been relegated to
a subsidiary role and their direct contributions to conservation have been limited. We draw on a variety of sources to make the case for an enhanced role for ex situ conservation. We note the advances occurring within institutions specializing in ex situ conservation and stress that, although much remains to be done, many constraints are being addressed. We argue that the evidence of increasing extinction rates, exacerbated by climate change, challenges the wisdom of a heavy dependence on in situ strategies and necessitates increased development of ex situ approaches. A number of different techniques that enable species and their habitats tosurvive should now be explored. These could build on the experience of management systems that have already demonstrated the effective integration of in situ and ex situ techniques and hybrid approaches. For organizations specializing in ex situ conservation to become more effective, however, they will require tangible support from the institutions of global biodiversity governance. Resistance is anticipated because in situ conservation is entrenched through powerful groups and organizations that exert influence on global conservation policy and facilitate the flow of funding. The chasm that has traditionally divided in situ and ex situ approaches may diminish as approaches are combined. Moreover, the relentless loss of the ‘wild’ may soon render the in situ / ex situ distinction misleading, or even obsolete.
Keywords Botanical gardens, captive breeding, climate

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Botanical gardens, captive breeding, climate change, ex situ, in situ, zoos
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography > GF075 Human influences on the environment
H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0079 Special topics, A-Z > HC0079.E5 Environmental policy and economic development. Sustainable development Including environmental economics
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Q Science > QP Physiology > QP0001 General Including influence of the environment
Depositing User: Stuart Harrop
Date Deposited: 24 May 2013 07:27
Last Modified: 24 May 2013 07:27
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/45105
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