How reintroduction programs have saved these animal species from extinction

How reintroduction programmes have saved these animal species from extinction

Reintroduction programmes have saved over 48 species from extinction.


North Carolina's red wolves, the Arabian oryx, the Eurasian beaver, the pine martin, the large blue butterfly, and Przewalski's horse all have one thing in common – they have previously been deemed extinct in the wild. However, thanks to reintroduction programmes around the world, scientists have been able to ease these animal species back to rebuild their communities in the wild.

According to CNN, scientists have used a method of translocation and captive breeding to re-establish animal populations which have previously died out in the wild. Scientists explain that these programmes have helped restore degraded ecosystems as well as increasing population numbers, which will help prevent these species from vanishing off the earth in the years to come.

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Natasha Robinson, an ecologist at the Australian National University who specialises in threatened wildlife, explains that this process is a very long and hard one, but has phenomenal benefits. She adds that these reintroductions often take years to perfect and involve multiple phases in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Robinson explains that it’s important for conservationists to evaluate the threat level, both to and from the animal, and the role the animal had played in the ecosystem before embarking on a reintroduction. She adds that in places where the animal has died out recently, there is a better chance of success when it comes to reintroducing the animal back into the wild.

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"The less time that has passed, the more likely that environment is the same as when the species went extinct," Robinson continues. "But you still need to address the reason why it went extinct in that environment to begin with."

According to a 2020 study, reintroduction is one of the most effective ways to save endangered animals from becoming extinct. The study explains that this program has prevented species such as Przewalski's horse and the Guam rail from complete extinction in the wild and estimates that conservation action between 1993 and 2020 saved up to 48 species of birds and mammals from extinction.

Image courtesy: Unsplash

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