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Conservation Programmes

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Head-Start in Life: Nine Zoo-Reared Northwestern Pond Turtles Released Into the Wild

June 2, 2023

The Oregon Zoo and partners have released nine northwestern pond turtles into the wild, at the Columbia River Gorge. Under the head-start programme for this locally threatened species, newly hatched turtles are collected from the wild and looked after at the zoo for up to a year, until they have grown to a size that reduces their vulnerability to predators. 


Zoo-Bred Louisiana Pine Snakes Released into the Wild, at the Kisatchie National Forest

May 23, 2023

The Fort Worth Zoo has released 55 zoo-bred Louisiana pine snakes into the wild, joining other zoos in a collaborative effort to boost the populations of this endangered species. This is the seventh year the zoo reintroduces individuals of this species in their natural environment.

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Addax Conservation: Global Assessment of Genetic Diversity Undertaken

May 8, 2023

The first global assessment of the addax's genetic diversity was undertaken by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), in collaboration with multiple partners. The genetic diversity of the remaining wild population, as well as of the reintroduced and captive populations, were all assessed, with the former showing greater diversity! These valuable findings will help inform conservation efforts for this critically endangered species.

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Thousands of Zoo-Bred Partula Snails Reintroduced Into the Wild in French Polynesia

May 1, 2023

Over 5,000 threatened Partula snails, bred at London Zoo, Whipsnade Zoo, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, and Saint Louis Zoo, were reintroduced into the islands of Moorea and Tahiti (French Polynesia). Several Partula species were wiped out from their natural habitat in the 1980s and early 1990s due to the introduction of an invasive snail species. Zoos rescued the last of some of those species, which are of great ecological and scientific value, to start an international ex situ breeding programme.,

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Hope for the Endangered Ozark Hellbender: First In Situ Breeding of Zoo-Raised Animal Confirmed

April 26, 2023

The conservation programme for the Ozark hellbender has achieved a milestone, with the first confirmation of in situ breeding of a zoo-raised reintroduced animal! The Missouri Department of Conservation, Saint Louis Zoo and other institutions started the ex situ programme for this endangered species in the early 2000s. Although the first releases happened in 2008, most of the reintroduced animals are only now reaching sexual maturity!

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Signs of Success: Rare Pond Mud Snails Detected in the Pentlands, Scotland, Five Years After Release of Captive-Bred Animals

April 19, 2023

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's reintroduction programme for the pond mud snail is showing signs of success... Pond mud snails were found in the Pentlands, Scotland, where captive-bred individuals were released five years ago! This species was once widespread across Britain, but due to habitat loss and pollution, it can only be found in a small number of sites across the country.

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After Decades Locally Extinct, Captive-Bred Javan Warty Pigs Reintroduced Into Baluran National Park, Indonesia 

April 13, 2023

Captive-bred Javan warty pigs were reintroduced into the Baluran National Park (Java, Indonesia), where they have been locally extinct for over 30 years. Copenhagen Zoo started this reintroduction programme in 2017, in collaboration with the Indonesian government and other institutions, with the development of a breed-for-release facility inside the national park. This species is globally endangered, and reintroduction efforts will help re-establishing populations in the wild.

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Sustainable Farming at the Zoo: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's Shipping Container Farm Produces First Crop!

March 14, 2023

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo just gave a big leap towards its long-term goal of producing 80% of the lettuce for their animals! Their shipping container farm produced its first crop, and after careful inspection, the horticulture team is happy with the successful results. The container is equipped with the latest hydroponic vertical growing technology, and an automated system that informs the team of the specific needs for each plant species. Great example of sustainable farming practices at the zoo!

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Breeding Success: First Litters of the Endangered Pookila Born Under Ex Situ Programme for the Species

March 6, 2023

New hope for the endangered pookila, with the first litters born under the ex situ breeding programme for the species! This programme was set up last year after wild-caught individuals were brought to Zoos Victoria's Melbourne Zoo and Moonlit Sanctuary, so pairs could be matched for breeding and their offspring ultimately released back into the wild. A total of 20 pups were born to six pairs, at both locations, and there are more on the way!

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Returning Home: 100 More Zoo-Bred Southern Corroboree Frogs Released in National Park in Australia

February 24, 2023

Great news for conservation, as a second group of 100 zoo-bred southern corroboree frogs was released at Kosciuszko National Park, Australia. Bred by Taronga Conservation Society and Zoos Victoria, they were released in purpose-built enclosures in their natural habitat, part of a long-term conservation project for this critically endangered species. There they can complete their life cycle and are protected from the chytrid fungus, which is decimating amphibian populations throughout the world.

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Sixty Zoo-Bred Red Tailed Phascogale Reintroduced into the Wild in Australia

January 20, 2023

The ex situ breeding programme for the red tailed phascogale, started in 2019 by South Australia Parks and Wildlife and Alice Springs Desert Park, is showing great results, with the release of 60 individuals across multiple sites in south Australia! The reintroduction of captive-bred individuals is expected to provide a substantial boost to the wild population of this carnivorous marsupial, which is threatened by habitat loss and non-native predators.

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Hope for Critically Endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow with Successful First Breeding Season at Brevard Zoo

December 30, 2022

The Brevard Zoo had a very successful first breeding season for the Florida grasshopper sparrow, with 43 sparrows released in their natural habitat! The zoo is part of a collaborative conservation plan for this critically endangered species, which suffered declines due to habitat loss, disease and invasive species, and only 100 were detected in 2021.

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Zoo-Bred European Bison Reintroduced in National Park in Azerbaijan

December 5, 2022

Ten European bison/wisent cows were sent for reintroduction in the Shahdag National Park, Azerbaijan, in the Greater Caucasus region. The animals were bred at several European zoos and sent to Tierpark Berlin, which leads the project with WWF, for a few months to get used to each other before being flown to Baku for the release. This is the fourth herd to be released in the area in the last four years, with a total of 31 animals now living there, including animals that were already born on site. 

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Zoo-Bred California Condor Released in Redwood National Park, US

November 28, 2022

The California condor returned to Redwood National Park, US, for the first time since 1892, with the release of a zoo-bred animal. Bred and raised at Oregon Zoo, the condor was released in collaboraton with  the Yurok Tribe and park staff. This species is critically endangered and highly dependent on integrated in situ and ex situ conservation efforts.

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All Grown Up: Juveniles of Loa Water Frog's First Ex Situ Breeding Have Matured, Giving Hope for Critically Endangered Species

November 21, 2022

Back in 2019, the last known 14 Loa water frogs were rescued from their drying habitat, in Antofagasta (Chile). They were moved to Zoológico Nacional de Chile, where the herpetology team replicated the conditions of their natural habitat, enabling them to lay their first eggs in 2020. Two years later, the offspring has matured and the ex situ population now consists of approximately 180 adults, with more juveniles still growing, in a total of 400 animals. The ultimate goal is to reintroduce these critically endangered animals once their natural habitat has been restored.

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Two Sumatran Tigers Moved from US Zoos to New Zealand, part of Global Breeding Programme

November 8, 2022

The Auckland Zoo has welcomed two Sumatran tigers from two American zoos (Oklahoma City ZooTopeka Zoo). The move was recommended by the Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) for the Sumatran tiger, managed by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), to increase the genetic diversity of the Australasian ex situ population of this critically endangered subspecies.

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More Zoo-Bred Dibblers Reintroduced into the Wild in Australia

October 26, 2022

The ex situ programme for the endangered dibbler is in full force, with the reintroduction of 28 zoo-bred animals into the wild. Born under Perth Zoo's breed-for-release programme, the marsupials were released at (feral) predator-free Dirk Hartog Island National Park, Australia, and will be joined by 16 more animals next month!

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Evidence of Breeding in New Populations of the Critically Endangered Pine Hoverfly: Conservation Efforts are Working in Scotland! 

October 25, 2022

Hope for the critically endangered pine hoverfly in Scotland, as successful breeding has been detected in new populations! Thanks to conservation efforts by the Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms (RIC) partnership, including releases by The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, new populations have been established at the Cairngorms National Park. Recent surveys found pine hoverfly larvae in previously unoccupied tree stumps, showing that some of the released animals completed a full breeding cycle!

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Ten Manning River Turtles Released Into the Wild in Australia, in a World’s First!

October 21, 2022

In a world's first, 10 Manning river turtles were released into their natural habitat, in Australia! Part of a headstarting programme, they were rescued as eggs from the wild, when they are most vulnerable, and then hatched at Aussie Ark in 2020. They were looked after there while waiting for their habitat to recover from the fires, drought and then floods. This program is supported by the Australian government and several organisations, including the Australian Reptile Park.

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Fifteen Zoo-Bred Critically Endangered Plains-Wanderers Released into the Wild in Australia

October 6, 2022

Fifteen zoo-bred plains-wanderers were released into the wild, in a pest-managed site in Australia. Sadly, there were several casualties from the last release in March, but the ex situ programme must continue as it is an important part of the conservation efforts for this critically endangered species. The newly-released animals have been equipped with solar-powered satellite backpacks, so they can be tracked for up to two years. The animals were bred at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Monarto Safari Park & Werribee Open Range Zoo.

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Bronx Zoo Sends Critically Endangered Rote Snake-Necked Turtles to Singapore Zoo, Part of Breeding Programme for Reintroduction

October 4, 2022

The Bronx Zoo has sent 36 Rote Island snake-necked turtles all the way to Mandai Wildlife Reserve's Singapore Zoo, part of an international breeding programme that will ultimately result in reintroduction into the wild, in Indonesia. The species is Critically Endangered, and functionally extinct, in the wild, and the ex situ programme is an integral part of conservation efforts for the species.

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Almost 100 European Pond Turtles Bred at Different Zoos Reintroduced Into the Wild, in France

September 27, 2022

Earlier this month, almost 100 zoo-bred European pond turtles were reintroduced into the wild, in Alsace, France. Bred at five French zoos, including Parc Animalier de Sainte-Croix, Parc zoologique et botanique de Mulhouse & others, the reintroduced animals are part of a conservation programme to restore the species, which plays an important role in the maintenance of the wetlands habitat they live in. The project's initial goal to reintroduce 500 animals has been achieved with this latest release.

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Zoo-Bred Texas Horned Lizards Released Into the Wild

September 23, 2022

Last week, 151 zoo-bred Texas horned lizards were released into the wild, at the Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area. This achievement is the result of a collaboration between Texas Parks and Wildlife and several zoos, including Fort Worth Zoo (first to breed and establish an ex situ population for this species). The release programme boosts wild populations and increases their genetic diversity.

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Headstart in Life: Zoo-Reared Northern Leopard Frogs Released Into the Wild

September 20, 2022

The Oregon Zoo and partners have released over 100 zoo-reared northern leopard frogs into the wild, at Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, part of a headstarting programme for the species. Eggs were collected from their natural habitat and then hatched and reared at the zoo for six months. Released as froglets, they have a much better chance of survival in the wild than in their earlier life stages. The species is listed as locally endangered, in Washington, where the release took place.

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Zoo-Bred Western Swamp Tortoises Reintroduced Into the Wild: Largest Release Since Start of the Breeding Programme

September 18, 2022

A total of 191 zoo-bred Western swamp tortoises have been recently reintroduced into the wild in Australia - largest release since the start of the breeding  programme in 1989. Perth Zoo has bred and released over 1000 individuals of this critically endangered species into protected areas of natural habitat, in collaboration with other organisations.

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Threatened Fish Species Temporarily Moved to Aquarium Due to Extreme Drought in Portugal

August 30, 2022

Individuals of three threatened fish species have been moved to Aquário Vasco da Gama, in Portugal, as the extreme drought has seriously affected the water courses in Oeiras. The boga-portuguesa, endemic to Portugal, the escalo-do-sul and the verdemã, both endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, will be returned to the wild as soon as the habitat recovers. The Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas and the aquarium collaborated with Município de Oeiras in collecting and transporting the animals to their temporary ex situ holdings. 

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Western Pond Turtle in Head Start Programme Released Into the Wild

August 22, 2022

Several juvenile western pond turtles were released into the wild, part of a head start programme for the species. Eggs were collected from the wild last year and looked after at Woodland Park Zoo, where they were kept safe from predators. The juveniles were then released into protected wetlands earlier this month. 


This species was on the brink of extinction 30 years ago, but collaborative recovery efforts, including the release of over 2000 individuals, have brought it back. An emerging shell disease is also threatening its populations but research is underway to further understand the issue.

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Zoo-Bred White Storks Reintroduced into the Wild in England

August 15, 2022

A group of 37 zoo-bred white storks was released in West Sussex, UK. Bred at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens & The Wildwood Trust, the juvenile storks are now settling in their new environment, with hopes they will soon migrate south for the winter. The White Stork Project is a collaboration between several private landowners and organisations, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust included, that aims to re-establish a white stork population in southern England. 

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Breed-for-Release Programme Set Up for Pookila Mouse 

August 1, 2022

A new breed-for-release programme for the endangered pookila mouse is being set up at Melbourne Zoo (Zoos Victoria) and Moonlit Sanctuary. Populations of this species have declined in the wild and fewer than 3,000 pookila mice remain, due to habitat loss and invasive predators. Ex situ conservation efforts will help boosting population numbers.

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Zoo-Bred Guans Sent for Reintroduction in the Wild in Brazil

July 25, 2022

Three zoo-bred Black-fronted piping guans were sent to be reintroduced into the wild, under a project led by SAVE Brasil. Bred at Parque das Aves, the animals will be prepared for life in the wild before they are released. Captive breeding and reintroduction is one of the conservation strategies in place for this South American species, which is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Locally Extinct Mitchell’s Hopping-Mouse Reintroduced in New South Wales, Australia

July 21, 2022

The locally extinct Mitchell's hopping-mouse was reintroduced in the Mallee Cliffs National Park (New South Wales, Australia). The 58 released individuals came from the breeding programme at Monarto Safari Park and joined the 97 individuals that were reintroduced in the area in April. The project is led by Australian Wildlife Conservancy & Zoos South Australia.
This Australian native species suffered severe declines due to habitat loss & non-native predators (cats and foxes). The reintroduction of captive-bred individuals into predator-free areas is one of the conservation efforts in place for the species.

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European Bison Returns to UK After Long Absence, With Release of Three Individuals in Kent

July 19, 2022

For the first time in thousands of years, the European bison returns to the UK! Three individuals were released in a commercial pine forest in Kent, with the aim of transforming it in a natural woodland, as the bisons' natural behaviour will open up trails and create more open ground. This initative, called the Wilder Blean Project, is led by Kent Wildlife Trust & The Wildwood Trust.


The European bison went extinct in the wild a century ago, but zoo-based breeding of the 12 remaining individuals led to an amazing recovery and the reintroduction back into the wild, with 7,000 individuals currently living across Europe. Genetic diversity is low, however, and the establishment of new populations helps ensuring the future of the species.

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Great Ape Conservation in the Wild: Toronto Zoo Commits Half a Million Dollars Over 10 Years

July 18, 2022

Great ape conservation will be receiving a much needed boost as The Toronto Zoo has committed half a million dollars over 10 years. Half the money will go to orangutan conservation efforts in Asia and the other half to gorilla conservation in Africa, through partnerships with Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), Ape Action Africa and Gorilla SAFE.

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Over 50 Blanding's Turtles Released Into the Wild

July 14, 2022

In a collaboration between The Toronto Zoo and Parks Canada, 56 Blanding's turtles were released into the wild, in the Rouge National Urban Park (Canada). Part of a head-start programme, every year eggs are collected from stable wild populations, and looked after at the zoo. When they are two years old, they are released at different locations. Some of them are also equipped with radio transmitters, so the success of the release programme can be monitored.

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Ten Zoo-Bred Alpine Ibexes Reintroduced Into the Wild

July 8, 2022

Ten zoo-bred Alpine Ibexes have been reintroduced into the wild, in the Austrian Gasthof mountains. Over-hunting almost drove this species to extinction in the 19th century, but successful conservation efforts brought the species back from the brink. Several zoos are involved in this reintroduction programme, including Tiergarten Nürnberg, which has so far reintroduced 30 ibexes into the wild since their involvement in the project in 1995.

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Dozens of Captive-Bred Dormice Reintroduced in England

July 4, 2022

Dozens of captive-bred dormice were released into the wild, in northern England, under a reintroduction programme that started in the 1990s! Led by the People's Trust for Endangered Species and in partnership with several institutions, zoos included, this conservation initiative aims to give the dormouse's wild populations a boost, as their numbers have halved in the last two decades. On top of breeding and reintroducing healthy captive-bred animals, the conservation programme also includes habitat management & population monitoring. 

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Captive-Bred Pygmy Hogs Reintroduced into the Wild in India

June 28, 2022

Ten captive-bred pygmy hogs were reintroduced into the wild, in India, thanks to the Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme (PHCP) and partners, including Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Currently listed as Endangered, this species was once on the very brink of extinction, but has been recovering thanks to conservation efforts, including captive breeding & reintroduction.

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Nineteen Zoo-Bred Hamsters Reintroduced into the Wild

June 25, 2022

The Opel Zoo and partners have reintroduced 19 common hamsters in the wild, in Germany. They were bred at Opel Zoo last year and moved to Zoo Osnabrück and Zoo Frankfurt for the winter, before their release at two different sites, in the end of May. This species is listed as Critically Endangered and the breeding & reintroduction programme, which started in 2018, aims to give the wild population a boost.

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Omaha Zoo Plants Its 5-Millionth Tree in Madagascar

June 20, 2022

The Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium has reached a conservation milestone, by planting its 5-millionth tree in Madagascar, in partnership with the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership & support from Arbor Day Foundation. This reforestation initiative has been going on for 13 years and it primarily aims to create habitat for lemurs, which are highly threatened by habitat loss.

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The Spix's Macaw Returns to the Wild After 20 Years

June 13, 2022

Eight captive-bred Spix's macaws have been reintroduced into the wild, in the northeast of Brazil, 20 years after the species disappeared from their natural habitat. This ambitious programme is coordinated by the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots in Germany, in partnership with several organisations, including the Brazilian government and Pairi Daiza.


This species and its plight has gained world-wide recognition thanks to the animated movie Rio, which followed Blu and Jewel, the last of their species, and the desperate efforts to save them from extinction.

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Calgary Zoo Returns 20 Burrowing Owls to the Wild

June 10, 2022

Last month, The Calgary Zoo released 20 burrowing owls into the wild, after taking care of them for the past year. Wild owlets with the lowest chances of survival are taken to the zoo to be released when they are older, part of a head-starting programme for the species. As one of the main threats to this species is the low survival rates of owlets, taking care of them in a protected environment during that vulnerable period greatly increases their chances of survival. Even though it is not globally threatened, the burrowing owl is endangered in Canada and 90% of the population has disappeared in the last four decades.

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More Scimitar-Horned Oryx & Addax Join Wild Populations

June 7, 2022

Twenty more scimitar-horned oryx and 25 addax have been released in Chad, bringing the total number of free-living individuals to 460 and 96, respectively. The reintroduced population is being monitored, to ensure their health and survival, and so far this year, 15 oryx and 5 addax calves have been born in the wild. This large, and highly ambitious, reintroduction programme is supported by several zoos.

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Zoo-Bred European Pond Turtles Reintroduced Into the Wild

April 28, 2022

The Parc zoologique et botanique de Mulhouse released nine zoo-bred European pond turtles into the wild, part of the CNRS-led conservation programme for the species, which involves several European countries.


Litter of Wild Red Wolves is Born - First Time in Four Years!

April 26, 2022

A litter of Critically Endangered red wolves was born in the wild - first time in four years! Behind this success are the conservation efforts under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)'s Red Wolf Recovery Program. These efforts include, among others, captive breeding & reintroduction, pairing captive-bred with wild wolves and pup fostering to increase wild litter sizes. Several zoos participate in this program, and a Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the red wolf is managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


New Red List of Marine Fish in Development in Portugal

April 9, 2022

An assessment of the threat/conservation status of marine fish in Portugal - "Red List of Marine Fish in Portugal" - is currently underway, thanks to Oceanário de Lisboa, Oceano Azul Foundation, Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas (ICNF) & Câmara Municipal de Lisboa. They aim to complete it next year, in the 30th anniversary of the previous red list.

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Ungulate Reintroduction in Chad

March 31, 2022

Twenty scimitar-horned oryx, 25 addax and five dama gazelles were released from a captive breeding centre in Abu Dhabi into a nature reserve in Chad. They will first acclimatise in holding pens, part of a soft release. This programme is managed by Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and  Sahara Conservation, and it is supported y several institutions, including Saint Louis Zoo.

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Zoo-Bred Plains-Wanderers Released Into the Wild

March 23, 2022

Ten zoo-bred plains-wanderers were reintroduced into the wild in Western Riverina (NSW, Australia). These animals were bred at Taronga Zoo, Taronga Western Plains Zoo & Werribee Open Range Zoo, part of a successful breeding programme for this critically endangered species. On top of ex situ efforts, other conservation actions include habitat restoration and protection.


Thousands of Threatened Hoverfly Larvae Released in Scotland

March 21, 2022

The critically endangered pine hoverfly is one of Scotland's most threatened species, and plays an important role in the ecosystem. Last week, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has released 3,000 more larvae in the Cairngorms, after a very successful breeding season at Highland Wildlife Park

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Conservation Grants Awarded by Indianapolis Zoo

March 17, 2022

Eighteen organisations have been awarded conservation grants from Indianapolis Zoo, in a total of $350,000! The 2022 conservation grant recipients include local and international conservation projects. Over $1M have been donated by the zoo to conservation programmes in the last 3 years!


Group of Captive-Bred Madagascar Pochards Released into Wild

February 10, 2022

A group of 35 captive-bred Madagascar pochards were released into the wild, in Lake Sofia, between September and November last year. This release brings the number of adult individuals in this area up to 47. This critically endangered species can only be found in another site in nothern Madagascar, where around 70 individuals remain. This project is a collaboration between Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) and other institutions.

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Singapore Zoo Sends Critically Endangered Turtles Home

February 6, 2022

Back in September, Mandai Nature's Singapore Zoo sent 13 Roti snake-necked turtles to a breeding facility in their native country, Indonesia. A collaboration between Mandai, Wildlife Conservation Society & partners, this project aims to set up a breeding programme for this species in their native country to eventually reintroduce their offspring back into the wild.


This species is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but it may have gone extinct in the wild, as it has not been seen in Roti Island for over a decade.

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San Antonio Zoo Releases 5,000 Threatened Tadpoles in Wild

January 21, 2022

The San Antonio Zoo has released 5,000 Puerto Rican crested toad tadpoles into the wild... The zoo has been breeding this species since 2010 with over 16,000 tadpoles reintroduced in Puerto Rico. This threatened species has an estimated population of 1000 - 5000 individuals left in the wild.

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Zoo-Bred Red Pandas Reintroduced Into the Wild in India

January 19, 2022

Four zoo-bred red pandas were reintroduced into the wild, at Singalila National Park, India. This is the second time Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park releases red pandas into the wild, after two females were reintroduced in 2003... The aim is to boost the population of this endangered species in the area.

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Extinct Fish Returns to Wild with Help from Chester Zoo

December 31, 2021

The tequila fish is back in the wild! Water pollution and the introduction of invasive fish led to the disappearance of this species from the wild (Mexico) in 2003... But Chester Zoo & Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo partnered up to release over 1500 individuals back into their natural habitat, after years of captive breeding resulted in a large ex situ population!


Evidence of success - recent studies showed the wild population is now thriving and breeding!


Detroit Zoo's Vultures Join Ex Situ Programme in South Africa 

December 22, 2021

Five vultures have been transferred from Detroit Zoo to South Africa. The one lappet-faced vulture (Endangered) and four hooded vultures (Critically Endangered) have joined conspecifics in a captive breeding programme based at VulPro, a conservation organisation. The aim is to reintroduce their offspring into the wild.

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Record Season for Western Swamp Tortoise Conservation

December 10, 2021

It has been a good year for western swamp tortoise conservation... A record breeding season at Perth Zoo added 65 new hatchlings to their ex situ population, and from that same population 73 (older) individuals were reintroduced into the wild!


This species is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, due to habitat loss, climate change and invasive predators. Perth Zoo is collaborating with other institutions to establish and boost self-sustaining wild populations in areas of suitable habitat.

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Critically Endangered Skinks Moved to Predator-Free Reserve

November 27, 2021

Back in 2018, Auckland Zoo received 50 wild Kapitia skinks, after 40% of their habitat was destroyed by a cyclone. Not only were these animals looked after at the zoo, they also bred there, increasing the population. A predator-free new reserve was created by the New Zealand government for this species, and 42 of the temporarily zoo-housed skinks have been sent there this week. There are still juveniles and gravid females at the zoo, who will also be reintroduced in the future.


This species is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with fewer than 300 individuals left in the wild.

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Captive-Bred Harvest Mice Reintroduced in West London, UK

November 21, 2021

Fifty captive-bred harvest mice were reintroduced in the wild, in west London, UK. The captive breeding programme for this species is run by Battersea Park Children's Zoo and its sister site The New Forest Wildlife Park. Populations of this species have been declining in the UK, and conservation projects like this one are vital to protect the country's increasingly-threatened biodiversity.

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UK's Native Crayfish Population Gets Boost with Release of Zoo-Bred Individuals

November 17, 2021

The United Kingdom's white-clawed crayfish population got a boost with the release of 64 captive-bred individuals. Bred at Bristol Zoo Gardens, these crayfish were reintroduced in safe locations, part of the South West Crayfish Partnership - a collaborative conservation initiative.


The white-clawed crayfish is listed as "Endangered" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, threatened by the invasive American signal crayfish, and it is the only native freshwater crayfish species in the UK.


Largest-Ever Release of Captive-Bred Regent Honeyeaters in New South Wales, Australia

November 10, 2021

Hope for critically endangered regent honeyeater as 58 captive-bred individuals released into the Hunter Valley, Australia - the largest-ever release in New South Wales! This conservation breeding programme is the result of a multi-institutional collaboration, including BirdLife Australia & Taronga Zoo Sydney, and has released 373 birds since 2000.


Drought and bushfires in recent years have put extra pressure on the regent honeyeater and only 350 individuals are estimated to remain in the wild, making ex situ conservation efforts vital for the future of this species.

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Zoo-Bred Northern Bald Ibis Sent to Zoobotánico Jerez in Spain for Preparations for Reintroduction in the Wild

November 6, 2021

Zoobotánico Jerez has received several Northern bald ibis from other European zoos and will now prepare them for reintroduction in the wild, in southern Spain. The individuals were bred in several institutions, including Nordens Ark, Tierpark BerlinAlpenzoo InnsbruckZoo Zürich, Opel ZooParc Zoologique et Botanique de Mulhouse and Taberna (Almería).


The species is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and this reintroduction project, which is a multi-institutional collaboration, is a key part of conservation efforts to protect it.


Photo: Tierpark Berlin

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Shedd Aquarium Releases Endangered Blanding's Turtles Into the Wild 

November 2, 2021

Back in September, Shedd Aquarium released 24 Blanding’s turtles into the wild, in the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. They have also received 29 hatchlings to look after at the aquarium for at least a year before they are released back into the wild, with the aim of increasing their chances of survival. This is part of an essential head-start programme for this endangered species, which plays an important role in the local ecosystem.

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Omaha Zoo Sends Thousands of Boreal Toads for Release in the Wild & Achieves Amphibian Reintroduction Milestone! 

October 26, 2021

The Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium sent 3,847 Western boreal toad tadpoles, metamorphs, and adults for reintroduction in the wild, in Utah. This was the first time this zoo sent individuals of this particular species for reintroduction, but they have achieved a milestone this year with the release of their 100,000th amphibian into the wild!

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Thousands of Zoo-Bred, Critically Endangered, Hoverfly Larvae Reintroduced Into the Wild in Scotland

October 21, 2021

Over 3,000 zoo-bred pine hoverfly larvae are being reintroduced into the wild this week, in three different sites at Cairngorms National Park, Scotland. Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS)'s breeding programme for this species, which is based at Highland Wildlife Park, started in 2019 with just 25 individuals, but has been very successful so far!


The pine hoverfly is critically endangered in the UK, remaining only in a single area in Scotland. Several organisations are involved in this project, working together to identify and prepare suitable areas of natural habitat to release these animals.

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Conservation Breeding Milestones for Texas Horned Lizard: 1000th Hatchling at Fort Worth Zoo, 204 Reintroduced AND Evidence of Breeding in the Wild! 

October 8, 2021

The 1000th Texas horned lizard hatched at Fort Worth Zoo last month, an incredible milestone for this institution, which developed the husbandry and breeding protocols for this species. Also last month, 204 captive-bred hatchlings (100 of them bred at Fort Worth Zoo) were reintroduced into the wild by Texas Parks and Wildlife, Dallas Zoo & Caldwell Zoo. And there is more... Field biologists found hatchlings in the wild believed to be the offspring of zoo-bred individuals that were reintroduced in 2019.


Captive-Bred Group of UK's Rarest Lizard Reintroduced Into the Wild in Dorset

October 5, 2021

The sand lizard is the UK's rarest lizard as its populations have drastically declined in the country due to habitat loss. In order to restore this species in the UK, the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust are leading a project that includes captive breeding and reintroduction. Last month 140 sand lizards, bred at project-partners Marwell Wildlife and several others, were reintroduced into the wild in Dorset!

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Thousands of Critically Endangered Zoo-Bred Frogs Reintroduced in South Mississippi

September 27, 2021

The critically endangered dusky gopher frog can be found in two shallow ponds in Ward Bayou, South Mississippi... In partnership with other zoos & institutions, Memphis Zoo's captive breeding programme for the species has resulted in the reintroduction in the area of around 4,000 tadpoles & 4,000 frogs since 2017! Captive-bred frogs have also started breeding naturally in the wild!


Reintroduction in Action: Eastern Barred Bandicoot No Longer Extinct in the Wild in Mainland Australia 

September 22, 2021

 ⚠ Zoo Conservation in Action - a timeline:
👎1989: Fewer than 150 Eastern barred bandicoots remained in mainland Australia, a decline caused by habitat loss & invasive predators.
👍1991: Zoos Victoria started a captive breeding programme for the species.
👎2013: The Eastern barred bandicoot was listed as "Extinct in the Wild" in mainland Australia.
👍2021: Three reintroduced populations live in protected areas in mainland Australia, the species is now listed as "Endangered" and Zoos Victoria can end its 30-year breeding programme, in which over 650 bandicoots were bred! 

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German Zoo Reintroduces 27 Critically Endangered European Hamsters Into the Wild

September 16, 2021

Opel Zoo in Germany has recently reintroduced into the wild 27 out of the 52 European hamsters that were born at the zoo this year. The reintroduction area was developed to suit the ecological needs of this species, listed as "Critically Endangered" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The reintroduction programme was identified as a vital and successful conservation measure for this species.

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First Markhor Born Via Artificial Insemination - Born in French Zoo to Male in Finland

September 10, 2021

For the first time, a markhor was born via artificial insemination! The young was born at Réserve Zoologique de la Haute-Touche to a female inseminated with sperm collected from a male housed at Korkeasaari Zoo, the coordinator of the EEP. This achievement is important for the conservation of this species, listed as "Near Threatened" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but also for other captive breeding programmes, as it allows for genetically-valuable individuals to have offspring in other institutions without having to move long distances.

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Zoos Victoria's All Three Zoos Now Powered By 100% Renewable Energy

September 3, 2021

In a first for zoos in mainland Australia, Zoos Victoria (Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary & Werribee Open Range Zoo) are powered by 100% renewable energy! Supported by the Victorian government, the zoos have achieved another sustainability milestone, after being certified as a carbon neutral zoo in 2013... More zoos to follow?


Zoo-Bred Jacutingas Sent for Future Reintroduction Into the Wild

August 13, 2021

Four black-fronted piping guans (jacutingas) bred at Parque Das Aves joined other captive-bred conspecifics in a journey to Serra da Mantiqueira (São Paulo, Brazil), to be prepared for future reintroduction in the wild, part of a conservation programme by SAVE Brasil. The zoo had already sent six jacutingas to the programme in 2017 and five of them were reintroduced in the Mata Atlântica.

Listed as "Endangered" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, this south American species is threatened by illegal hunting and habitat loss.

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Hand-Reared Curlews Reintroduced Into the Wild, in Norfolk, UK

July 30, 2021

Dozens of hand-reared Eurasian curlews have been released into the wild, in Norfolk, UK. They were collected as eggs from Ministry of Defence sites, where they are often destroyed as they pose a danger to aviation, and raised at BIAZA member Pensthorpe Natural Park. This is part of an initiative that, in partnership with other institutions, aims to boost the wild populations of this species in the east of England. The Eurasian curlew is globally listed as "Near Threatened" but it is a high priority conservation species in the UK, as 65% of them have been lost there since 1970.

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Headstart Programme: Nashville Zoo Released Eastern Hellbenders into the Wild

July 21, 2021

The Nashville Zoo & partners have released 29 eastern hellbenders into the wild, in Tennessee. They were collected from the wild, as eggs, and raised at the zoo for six years, part of a headstart programme for the species. The zoo has been involved in eastern hellbender conservation since 2003, and has made great progress in breeding this species in captivity.

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Captive-bred Alpine Ibex Reintroduced in the Wild in Austria

July 16, 2021

Nine Alpine ibex were reintroduced in the wild, in the Austrian Lessach Valley, where the species has gone locally extinct. Six of the animals were born at Tiergarten Nürnberg, the other three at Alpenzoo Innsbruck & private breeders. Nürnberg Zoo has been involved in reintroduction projects for this species since 1995, but the Lessach valley is a new reintroduction site!

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Tennessee Aquarium Releases 250 Juvenile Southern Appalachian Brook Trout in the Wild 

July 12, 2021

The Tennessee Aquarium has released 250 juvenile southern Appalachian brook trout in a new release site - a mountain stream in Cherokee National Forest. The only trout native species in the region, it disappeared from more than 75% of its natural range. The aquarium collects and breeds wild adult individuals and keeps the young over the winter, releasing them in the spring.


World's First: Baby Gorilla Born to Zoo-Bred, Reintroduced in the Wild, Parents! 

June 30, 2021

In a world's first, a baby western lowland gorilla was born to two zoo-bred, reintroduced in the wild, parents! The adult gorillas were born under the EAZA-led European Ex-Situ Programme (EEP) for the species - the male was born in Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve & the female in Zoo de Beauval, and they were reintroduced in Gabon in 2013 and 2019, respectively.

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Prague Zoo Supporting Conservation of Critically Endangered White-Bellied Heron

June 28, 2021

The white-bellied heron is a critically endangered species with under 60 individuals left in the wild, half of them in Bhutan. Prague Zoo is supporting conservation efforts for the species, which include creating an insurance population by bringing some of the young from wild nests, where they would likely not survive, to captivity. The zoo has supported the development of a breeding facility in Bhutan, has helped training Bhutanese keepers and has provided other resources such as transport boxes and veterinary medicine.

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Czech Zoos Partner Up In New Conservation Program to Fight Illegal Wildlife Trade

June 17, 2021

The Trenggiling Conservation Program is a new initiative to fight the illegal wildlife trade and support the conservation of the critically endangered sunda pangolin. Prague Zoo, Zoo Ostrava and Zoo Olomouc are the main partners in this program.


Their activities include a new rescue centre in Sumatra, the employment of former poachers as field assistants and educational activities with the local communities.

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Oakland Zoo Helping to Vaccinate Threatened Rabbit Subspecies from Fatal Virus

June 12, 2021

The riparian brush rabbit is one of eight subspecies of brush rabbit and is threatened with extinction. The RHDV2 is a fatal virus that originated in Europe and is now spreading through south US and Mexico. Oakland Zoo has partnered with other institutions to help vaccinating the riparian brush rabbit population, so they can protect this endangered subspecies from the virus and potential extinction.

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Eight Captive-Bred Red Wolves Released Into the Wild

May 31, 2021

Eight captive-bred red wolves (four adults and four pups) were released into the wild, in North Carolina, US. The pups were born at Akron Zoo but were sent to be placed in the den of a wild female, so she could adopt them, in an effort to increase both numbers and genetic diversity in the wild population.


The red wolf is critically endangered with only 20-25 individuals left in the wild (including the ones that have just been released)! The Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and coordinated by North Carolina Zoo, aims to bring this species back from the the brink of extinction.

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Estonian Zoo Sends Ten European Minks for Reintroduction in Spain

May 19, 2021

Tallinn Zoo has sent 10 zoo-bred European minks to Spain, where they will be reintroduced in the wild! This species is critically endangered and the European Ex-Situ Programme (EEP), managed by this zoo, is one of the conservation actions in place!

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Zoo-led Conservation Programme Helping to Restore Endangered Snake Population

May 13, 2021

The Louisiana pine snake is an endangered species from North America. A captive breeding and reintroduction programme led by Memphis Zoo, and in partnership with other zoos & institutions, has resulted in the release of hundreds of individuals in their natural habitat. Fifty more juvenile snakes have been released last month and the research team also discovered that previously released individuals are now breeding naturally in the wild!

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Prague Zoo Releases Przewalski's Horses in 20-Hectare Field in Prague's Historical Site

April 29, 2021

Prague Zoo released four (♀) Przewalski's horses in an almost 20-hectare plain at Prague’s Dívčí hrady. A stallion will eventually be joining them. By grazing in the area, the wild horses will contribute to the regeneration of the habitat while allowing visitors to observe and learn more about them.


The herd will also provide an important contribution to the EAZA Ex-Situ Programme (EEP) for this species, which aims to maintain a healthy insurance population in captivity to aid in reintroduction efforts when necessary.

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Melbourne Zoo Sets Up First Captive Breeding Programme for Rare Giant Burrowing Frog

April 22, 2021

The first ever conservation breeding programme for the giant burrowing frog has been set up at Melbourne Zoo (Zoos Victoria). Scientists from the zoo and partner institutions collected tadpoles from the wild and they will now study their development into adult frogs so they can optimise the breeding programme.


On top of being threatened by the chytrid fungus, habitat loss, climate change and invasive predators, this species has also lost great parts of their natural habitat due to bushfires in recent years. The captive breeding programme is an important part of integrated conservation efforts to restore and protect this species in the wild.


EAZA Ex Situ Programmes Get a New Section in Their Website

April 14, 2021

Explore some of the EAZA Ex Situ Programmes (EEPs) in the new dedicated section in their website. Some of the EEPs already showcased include the Pygmy marmoset, the European pond turtle, the Javan green magpie, the Przewalski’s horse & the Desertas wolf spider.

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Western Burrowing Owls Reintroduced in Southern California

April 3, 2021

🦉 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance & partners have released 24 Western burrowing owls in Ramona, San Diego. This is part of an integrated conservation programme to boost the populations of this species in southern California. Watch video of the release here.

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Zoo de Beauval is the New Manager of a Chimpanzee Conservation Programme in Congo

March 30, 2021

Zoo de Beauval's association Beauval Nature is now managing  HELP Congo - a conservation programme for chimpanzees in Conkouati-Douli National Park.


The programme is now expanding to protect not only chimpanzees but the rich biodiversity within the park. Their main missions include population monitoring and surveying, anti-poaching and park protection, eco-tourism and empowering and educate local communities.

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Chester Zoo Releases 10-Year Conservation Masterplan

March 23, 2021

Chester Zoo released its 10-year Conservation Masterplan, with four key focus areas:

🌎Populations (in-situ & ex-situ management);

🌎Places for wildlife (habitat protection & restoration);

🌎People (enable & promote human-wildlife coexistence);

🌎Policy (push for effective planning & legislation).

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New "Center for Species Survival" Opens at Brazilian Zoo 

March 19, 2021

The Center for Species Survival Brazil has been launched - a new hub for the conservation of the very rich Brazilian biodiversity!


Based at Parque Das Aves and founded in partnership with IUCN Species Survival Commission Conservation Planning Specialist Group, the CSS was created under the  Reverse the Red global movement to ensure a future for wild species & ecosystems.

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Loro Parque Sends Two More Lear's Macaws for Reintroduction in the Wild

March 10, 2021

Two zoo-bred Lear's macaws have been reintroduced into the wild, in Brazil, thanks to the efforts of Loro Parque & partners. This species is bred at the zoo under specific protocols and conditions, so they can more easily adapt to the wild once released. Once in Brazil, they are housed in large aviaries and go through "reintroduction training", so they adapt to the environment and further develop the necessary skills to survive.


Loro Parque had already sent six Lear's macaws for reintroduction, in August 2018!

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Marwell Wildlife Supports Conservation Efforts for the Scimitar-Horned Oryx

March 03, 2021

Marwell Wildlife not only manages the international studbook and the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for the scimitar-horned oryx, but is also involved in multiple conservation efforts for this species. They are assisting with the monitoring of the reintroduced populations and they have provided funding, expertise, animals and equipment to reintroduction efforts on top of their own projects.


Listed as "Extinct-in-the-Wild" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the scimitar-horned oryx remains only in captive and semi-wild conditions, with its future survival depending on captive breeding and reintroduction programmes.

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First Successfully CLONED Black-Footed Ferret Has Been Born in the US!

February 20, 2021

The first ever successfully cloned black-footed ferret was born in December last year! "Elizabeth Ann" is the clone of a wild-caught ferret that was cryopreserved over 30 years ago!


Why is this important? This achievement is a step forward to increase the genetic diversity of the black-footed ferret population. This species is threatened and almost went extinct but was brought back from the brink thanks to a captive breeding and reintroduction programme!


This project is a partnership between Revive & RestoreSan Diego Zoo Global, ViaGen Pets & others!

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Canadian Zoo Sends Two Cheetahs to Zimbabwe, For Future Reintroduction into the Wild

February 13, 2021

Two 18-month male cheetahs have been transferred from Parc Safari (Canada) to Zimbabwe, for future release in the wild. They are now in an acclimatisation enclosure, to habituate to the new environment and learn the necessary hunting skills. This project aims to establish a breeding population of cheetahs in Imire and assist in the repopulation of other reserves.


Imire: Rhino & Wildlife Conservancy and The Aspinall Foundation are the other institutions involved in this project.

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Zoobotánico Jerez Receives 17 Northern Bald Ibis for Reintroduction into the Wild

February 7, 2021

The Zoobotánico Jerez has received 17 Northern bald ibis for reintroduction into the wild. They were sent by

La Citadelle de Besançon, Parc zoologique et botanique de Mulhouse & GaiaZOO, under the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for the species.


The veterinarians at the zoo will health check, ring and attach GPS-tracking devices to the individuals. They will then move to an acclimatisation aviary, where they will stay for a few months before they are released into the wild.

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How do European Zoos & Breeding Centres Boost the Ex Situ Breeding Efforts for the Bearded Vulture?

January 31, 2021

The collaborative efforts of the Vulture Conservation Foundation and EAZA have resulted in over 500 bearded vulture chicks produced and over 300 reintroduced in the wild since 1978.


Behind this success is the hard work and commitment of several zoos & breeding centres across Europe. From careful monitoring of the animals' behaviour to hand rearing and use of "adoptive parents", many strategies are applied to boost this breeding programme.

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Zoo in US sends Mexican Gray Wolf Pack For Reintroduction in Mexico

January 24, 2021

A Mexican gray wolf pack (a pair and their seven pups) was sent by ABQ BioPark to Mexico, for future reintroduction in the wild. The animals will first go through a "reintroduction training" process, so they learn the necessary skills to survive in the wild. This subspecies is threatened mainly due to conflicts with humans/livestock.