Captive breeding, reintroduction, and the conservation of amphibians

Griffiths, Richard A. and Pavajeau, Lissette (2008) Captive breeding, reintroduction, and the conservation of amphibians. Conservation Biology, 22 (4). pp. 852-861. ISSN 0888-8892. (Access to this publication is restricted)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.00967.x

Abstract

The global amphibian crisis has resulted in renewed interest in captive breeding as a conservation tool for amphibians. Although captive breeding and reintroduction are controversial management actions, amphibians possess a number of attributes that make them potentially good models for such programs. We reviewed the extent and effectiveness of captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians through an analysis of data from the Global Amphibian Assessment and other sources. Most captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians have focused on threatened species from industrialized countries with relatively low amphibian diversity. Out of 110 species in such programs, 52 were in programs with no plans for reintroduction that had conservation research or conservation education as their main purpose. A further 39 species were in programs that entailed captive breeding and reintroduction or combined captive breeding with relocations of wild animals. Nineteen species were in programs with relocations of wild animals only. Eighteen out of 58 reintroduced species have subsequently bred successfully in the wild, and 13 of these species have established self-sustaining populations. As with threatened amphibians generally, amphibians in captive breeding or reintroduction programs face multiple threats, with habitat loss being the most important. Nevertheless, only 18 out of 58 reintroduced species faced threats that are all potentially reversible. When selecting species for captive programs, dilemmas may emerge between choosing species that have a good chance of surviving after reintroduction because their threats are reversible and those that are doomed to extinction in the wild as a result of irreversible threats. Captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians require long-term commitments to ensure success, and different management strategies may be needed for species earmarked for reintroduction and species used for conservation research and education.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: amphibian declines; captive breeding; ex situ conservation; species reintroduction; species translocation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Suzanne Duffy
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2009 09:08
Last Modified: 21 May 2014 11:05
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/15129 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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