Evaluating the role of zoos and ex situ conservation in global amphibian recovery

Date created: 
2017-10-12
Identifier: 
etd10495
Keywords: 
Captive breeding
Frogs
Salamanders
Threat
Zoos
Abstract: 

Amphibians are declining worldwide, and ex situ approaches (e.g. captive breeding and reintroduction) are increasingly incorporated into recovery strategies. Nonetheless, it is unclear whether these approaches are helping mitigate losses. To investigate this, I examine the conservation value of captive collections. I find that collections do not reflect the species of likeliest greatest concern in the future but that non-traditional zoos and conservation-focused breeding programs are bolstering the representation of threatened amphibians held ex situ. Next, I examine the reproductive success of captive breeding programs in relation to species’ biological traits and extrinsic traits of the program. Based on 285 programs, I find that not all species are breeding in captivity, yet success is not correlated to the suite of tested predictors. Overall, ex situ approaches are playing a potentially important role in amphibian conservation, but we must work to improve the representation of threatened amphibians in zoos and husbandry expertise.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Senior supervisor: 
Arne Mooers
Department: 
Science: Biological Sciences Department
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.
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