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Hey Ornithavis - On one hand i do agree with you, captive breeding programms might help to sustain wild populations, as it has been done in species like bearded vulture. However, this can not be the only tool, as captive breeding programms face strong intrinsic problems as inbreeding, genetic drift and so on. Furthermore, skills which are transmitted from generation to generation by learning (i.e. kowledge), are likely to be lost. Furthermore, is has been shown, that a successfull reintroduction of captive animals into nature is not a very easy task - i.e. for capercaillie in central Europe: of 11 cases of reintroduction, NONE (!) was successfull. Therefore i do agree with you that captive breeding might be a valuable tool to support conservation efforts of wild populations: however, i strongly suggest that future conservation efforts do also try to save the populations in the wild...
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