Conservation Breeding Specialist Group
The Conservation Breeding Group is more commonly referred to as the CBSG.
The CBSG started its life in 1979 as a worldwide community of people who were concerned with properly managed wildlife populations. Though initially they concentrated as a group on the management of zoo populations it became obvious that there must be wild input too.
Today the group takes both in-situ and ex-situ populations into any calculations considering the status of a species. The cooperation between scientists in the wild and those working with the same species in captivity is recognised as extremely important.
The CBSG does not work in isolation but with a strong liaison with the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) and the Species Survival Commission.
Regional meetings are carried out around the world on a regular basis. These are usually in combination with another conservation related symposium, for example WAZA (World Association of.Zoos and Aquariums).
The CBSG meetings will usually involve a 'CAMP' (Conservation Assessment and Management Plan) and a PHVA (Population and Habitat and Viability Assessment). Quite sophisticated computer software is utilised within these meetings.
'Conservation' today is not as simple as people imagine. It requires proper population management and within the zoo world many species have their own studbooks and species coordinators.
Breeding animals outside of these 'official' programmes is harmful, wasteful, cruel and pointless and contributes nothing to research, education or conservation. Active participation with the CBSG is the way forward and not bringing their combined expertise in on a zoo progamme shows a lack of committment.
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