The Opportunity for Zoos to Save Vanishing Species

William Conway
1967 Oryx  
Zoos have a two-fold obligation: education, a field they have as yet scarcely tapped and where their opportunity is enormous, and captive breeding of endangered species, which is vital for some animals if they are to survive. The author, who is General Director of the New York Zoological Society, suggests that, if the facilities of to-day had been available, the dodo and the great auk could have been bred in zoos and released in the wild. He considers some of the criteria for selecting species
more » ... o be bred, and lays down three basic rules for all captive breeding programmes: a large sample, scattered groups, and the elimination of atypical animals. He urges the need for an internationally co-ordinated plan for breeding endangered animals, and also, because the "know-how" of zoos is better than their facilities, the establishment of special, internationally supervised breeding centres.
doi:10.1017/s0030605300006189 fatcat:pbemer4tlzfvdat23pocjbm3ia