Breeding Species for Reintroduction
The most rewarding captive breeding programmes are those where animals can be reintroduced into the wild again. This can be a very difficult, expensive and risky process, and is not often possible. When it can occur, however, animals are usually returned to an area where the popuation of an animal is declining, or into part of its former range, depending on the state of the habitat. Find out more about reintroductions .
Though individuals from healthy populations elsewhere are more easily used for reintroductions than captive bred animals, ZSL is involved in a number of breeding projects that have already released animals or intend to in the future.
Whether reintroduction is possible relies on there being a suitable habitat for animals to be released into, which is certainly not always the case. In addition, animals have to be carefully prepared in terms of acclimatisation to wild conditions and undergo health checks.
The ultimate aim is to establish a self-sustaining, healthy population that should not need too much management or supplementation with new animals. In some cases this has been possible, and you can read about our breeding and reintroduction programmes below. Many of these have been animals bred at ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo .