In this event, we explore the successes and challenges around recovery efforts for different extinct in the wild species.
Species facing imminent extirpation from the wild are sometimes able to be rescued into zoos, aquariums, or botanical gardens before extinction.
But what happens next for these species? Can they be restored back to the wild?
Species recovery can be challenging if the threats that caused extirpation from the wild are still present in the species’ native range, or if new threats are emerging (e.g. climate change).
Furthermore, extinct in the wild species may face threats from loss of genetic diversity and adaptation to captivity, which may impact the ability of the species to survive in the wild.
Despite the challenges, some species previously listed as extinct in the wild have been successfully recovered back to the wild (e.g. Przewalski's horse).
However, others have gone extinct while under human care in captivity (e.g. thylacine).
There are currently 80 species listed as extinct in the wild on the IUCN red list of threatened species, ranging from the Franklin tree to the sihek (Guam kingfisher).
Are there any lessons we can learn from the fates of different extinct in the wild species and what is next for the 80 species currently listed as extinct in the wild?
- Dr Axel Moehrenschlager, Chair IUCN SSC Conservation Translocation Specialist Group, and Director of Conservation & Science, Calgary Zoo Foundation: "Will we save species that are extinct-in-the-wild? The ultimate test for conservation"
- Dr Sarah E. Dalrymple, Liverpool John Moores University: "How do we restore extinct in the wild plants?"
- Dr Amanda Trask, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London: "Saving the sihek: recovery planning for an extinct in the wild species"
- Paul Pearce-Kelly, Zoological Society of London: "Reintroducing Partula snails to the wild"
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