Save the animals

Save the animals

The Parc des Félins is very involved in the protection of Felines and other endangered species.

This work is very important to the park staff who invest time, energy and money in conservation projects in the wild and in the park.

To help us in our mission, join our non-profit association!

Breeding in captivity | Introduction


Old circus cage and Angolan lion enclosure at the Parc des Félins (Photo: Serge Signore)

  • Gone are the days when zoological parks were simply "collections" of living animals. Faced with the threat our species has subjected our planet to and helplessly watching the depletion and extinction of many animal and plant species, directors and scientists from zoological parks in the 1970's started to consider their animals as important individuals to be protected at all costs and to keep them over time in zoos and reintroduce them into the natural habitat of their ancesters if the species were ever to become extinct.

Releasing ferrets in the US

Releasing bears in the Pyrenees

Releasing Przewalski horses in Mongolia

 

  • A great number of zoological parks from all over the world have since united to work together for the conservation of engangered species using breeding programmes. This is called EX-SITU  CONSERVATION, which is conservation outside the natural habitat.

 

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature recognizes the usefulness of zoological parks by declaring:

  • " ...To preserve biodiversity, it is not enough just to protect the natural habitat. Interventions such as the establishment of  autonomous captive populations are necessary to prevent the extinction of many species, especially those at risk and whose natural habitat has been greatly reduced, fragmented and disrupted. It is important that these breeding programmes in captivity are set up before the populations reach a critical state, and that they are then coordinated internationally, according to sound biological principles, with a view to maintaining or re-etablishing viable populations in the wild..."

  • " ...Over 3000 species of vertebrates are bred in captivity, which includes zoological parks. Given suitable conditions of captivity, most species reproduce and viable populations can be maintained long-term. These institutions offer a wealth of experience in the fields of breeding, veterinary medicine and reproductive, behavioural and genetic biology. It would be a real shame for them to be ignored..."