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Natural Resources and Conservation

Augustana College

Black-footed ferret

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Ex-Situ Conservation Programs: Worthwhile?, Nicolette Sliwa, Aaron Sieve Jan 2016

Ex-Situ Conservation Programs: Worthwhile?, Nicolette Sliwa, Aaron Sieve

Biology: Student Scholarship & Creative Works

The effectiveness of conservation programs was researched, specifically within zoos, and their attempts to repopulate areas with captive-born individuals of endangered species. There are major biological and economic concerns with these programs focused on, including potential genetic adaptation to captivity, effects of inbreeding, and if this is a truly worthwhile use of funds to restore a species. Looking at the black-footed ferret, the whooping crane, and other supposed successful captive-breeding programs, it is explored whether reintroduced individuals thrive in their new habitats sufficiently enough to contribute to the restoration of the species, and more broadly, their ecosystems.