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Conservation Breeding Specialist Group

Updated on August 17, 2017



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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Submit a Comment

  • Mac Mission profile image

    Mac Mission 8 years ago from bangalore

    Nice peter. As you said there should be proper knowledge and also management to do so....

  • Peter Dickinson profile image

    Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

    They speak, they advise and the good zoos, and some other listen. The bad zoos only have ears for the cash register at the gate.

  • dohn121 profile image

    dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

    I wonder how much clout the CBSG has. I haven't heard of them until now Peter. I wonder if they can they help the animals in Thailand (in captivity). Please let me know.