IN- or EX- situ conservation of species?

Species-Based Conservation Strategy for Biodiversity

Class notes (with a little extra!) – Species Conserve

‘In situ’ conservation:

Maintaining species in their natural environment. This may include management of a Nature Reserve or National park. Why is it easier to protect an area if there is a well-known mammal in it?

‘Ex situ’ conservation:

Maintaining species outside their natural environment, in zoos or wildlife sanctuaries. What are the relative strengths and weaknesses of:

  1. Captive breeding [breeding of species in confinement] and re-introduction programs [back to their original habitat once it is safe to do so] See Mauritius Kestral in hand out too
  2. Zoos – How are they justified?
  3. What about botanic gardens? Botanic Gardens Conservation International Singapore Botanical Gardens [SBG]
  4. CITES – Convention for Trade in Endangered Species: controls the transfer of wildlife and wildlife products between member countries (refer to handout for Black Rhino and CITES efforts)
  5. Which type of species should be more valued for conservation purposes – aesthetic (flagship) or ecological (keystone)? Selecting of “charismatic” species help to protect others in an area (flagship/umbrella species) yet selecting keystone species protect the integrity of the ecosystem structure – i.e. foodweb


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