In the wild
In the Wild | Introduction
Gone are the days when zoos were not involved in the conservation of wild animals! Nowadays, as well as participating in breeding programmes (see page about on ex-situ conservation ), the majority of zoological parks around the world are working for the protection of endangered species and various habitats directly in the wild. This is called IN-SITU CONSERVATION.
Reintroduction of the Lynx in France in the 1980's
Zoological parks are becoming increasingly important in this field as without them, many organisations would not have the necessary funds to carry out their research and conservation programmes. Zoos can inform their visitors of the great challenges facing our planet and address more specific issues such as the plight of the Amur Leopard or Amphibians. Zoos act as intermediaries between nature and the general public and collect donations which are always used wisely.
One of the most important in-situ conservation groups is the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This is the largest and most important network in the world working for the conservation and biodiversity of our planet. The Union brings together 82 nations, 111 governmental organisations, over 800 NGOs and approximately 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries into one unique global organisation. Their mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. The IUCN is a multicultural, multilingual organisation with 1000 people working in 62 countries. Its headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland.
The IUCN has a working group dedicated to the conservation of big cats: the CAT SPECIALIST GROUP. It is made up of many specialists and publishes a bi-annual 50-page newletter, CAT NEWS, containing all sorts of relevant news about cats (scientific articles, press clippings, book reviews, discoveries, etc.) which we highly recommend.