European Endangered Species Programme

The European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) is a population management programme for animals of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).[1] It is one of the worldwide assembly of such regional breeding programs for threatened species in zoos. The North America counterpart is the Species Survival Plan (SSP), while Australian, Japanese and Indian zoos also have similar programs. Combined, there are now many hundred zoos worldwide involved in the regional breeding programs.[2] Each EEP has a coordinator who is assisted by a species committee. The coordinator collects information on the status of all the animals kept in EAZA zoos and aquariums of the species for which he or she is responsible, produces a studbook, carries out demographical and genetic analyses, produces a plan for the future management of the species and provides recommendations to participating institutions. Together with the Species Committee, recommendations are made each year about relocating and breeding animals, and the conditions of such a move (breeding loan, exchange, term free disposition, etc.).

EAZA is an organization for the European zoo and aquarium community that links over 340 membership organizations in 41 countries.[3] The mission of EAZA is to promote cooperation for furthering regional collection planning and wildlife conservation, mainly through coordinated breeding programs of wild animals such as EEP and European Studbook (ESB), which is less intensive than the EEP. Even though EEP participation is mainly reserved for EAZA collections, it is possible for non-EAZA collections to be included in these programmes. There are generally however more restrictions on such zoos (which may go as far as only holding non-breeding animals for educational purposes), and on the number of programmes they may participate in.[1]

Important species

Male gorilla in SF zoo
Gorillas are stocky animals with broad chests and shoulders, large, human-like hands and small eyes set into hairless faces.

Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae)

One species which has been handled by EEP was Sumatran tiger which have only a few hundred left in the wild, and only about 7% of their habitat remains. They used to live in all the Sumatran territory, but nowadays most of them can only be found in the mountain regions of the Burit Barisan volcanic area. This species is currently threatened with the destruction of habitat and poaching, for trade of its parts in traditional oriental medicine or as a trophy. The Tiger EEP has made contributions to the conservation of Amur and Sumatran tigers in the wild, via fundraising for wild tiger conservation projects, raising awareness and providing educational opportunities, and assisting with relevant research and training. For example, in November 2011, Sumatran tiger Kirana has delivered 3 cubs at Chester Zoo under EEP which attempts to coordinate breeding between zoos and maintain genetic diversity.[4]

Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

The Gorilla EEP is one of the most intensively managed and oldest breeding programmes in European zoos. The Gorilla EEP was started in 1987 and was run by the Frankfurt Zoological Garden, who continue to maintain the Gorilla Studbook.[5] In the past decade, some major improvements have been achieved in the management of the EEP for the Western lowland gorilla Gorilla gorilla gorilla. Neonatal mortality and hand‐rearing rates have decreased; transfers in most cases proved to be successful: almost all gorillas were integrated into their new groups and most animals introduced to a breeding group had their first offspring within 2 years. The results show that the current management approach is successful, and that the population is sustainable and has good genetic health.[6]

Necessity of international cooperation in breeding programmes

For zoo visitors to have the opportunity to see how wild animals look, live, and behave, zoos must ensure that truly wild animals, with all of their natural characteristics, are presented. Zoo animals are vulnerable to three very serious breeding problems inherent to small, artificial populations: inbreeding depression, loss of genetic variability, and accumulation of deleterious mutations. These problems can easily result in loss of original wild traits, and in the expression of heritable abnormalities. If what was once a pure, wild population of animals deteriorates through generations of uncontrolled breeding into inferior or partially domesticated stock, then the animals are no longer suitable for any conservation effort, and the zoos have failed to perform an important educational task.

The effects of breeding captive populations of wild animals over periods of many generations have been well studied. Based on these studies and genetic theory, guidelines for breeding such small populations have been developed. Following such guidelines should sharply reduce possibilities of breeding problems and concurrently should maximize the number of generations in which the original founding diversity can be maintained. Guidelines for captive populations follow some basic principles including beginning with as many "founders" as possible (preferably at least 20-30 of animals), increase the number of individuals within the population rapidly, all individuals from the founder population should have "equal genetic representation" and inbreeding should be avoided. The application of these guidelines, and many others tailored to specific populations, results in strictly controlled breeding programmes in which nothing is left to chance. Only in this manner can healthy and truly wild populations be maintained over a period of one or two hundred years. Such strict control is entirely dependent on cooperation among zoos that hold individuals of the species, as single zoos generally do not have the facilities to maintain a population of adequate size independently.


The largest problem encountered in the functioning of the EEP is undoubtedly the actual execution of breeding management recommendations: it is often difficult to develop policies applicable to an entire group of zoos (varying from 10 to well over 50 depending on the species programme) when these are spread throughout several countries with different languages and laws, and with dissimilar political and economic backgrounds. Just the incongruencies in laws can sometimes make exchange of specimens for breeding purposes by two closely situated zoos a formidable task if a border happens to lie between them. Yet successes have been achieved: the growth of the EEP has been considerable since its initiation in 1985. Now more than 200 zoos from 25 European countries are involved in breeding programmes, while the EEP is strongly supported by the various national zoo federations and by the European Community Association of Zoos and Aquaria (ECAZA). Currently, preparations are being made to find a pan-European zoo association that, among other tasks, will be responsible for EEP affairs.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b "PROGRAMMES » EAZA". Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  2. ^ "European Endangered Species Programme". 3 June 2018.
  3. ^ "About EAZA". 11 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Three endangered Sumatran tiger cubs have made their debut at San Diego Zoo Safari Park". 27 April 2016.
  5. ^ Armstrong, Beth (3 June 2018). "2010 Gorilla Workshops".
  6. ^ Vermeer, J.; Abelló, M. T.; Holtkötter, M. (30 July 2013). "Progress in the Western lowland gorilla  European Endangered Species Programme: a review of the decade 2002-2011". International Zoo Yearbook. 48 (1): 234–249. doi:10.1111/izy.12027. ISSN 0074-9664. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  7. ^ "EEP - European Conservation Program". 3 June 2018.

External links


Blue-listed species includes any indigenous species or subspecies (taxa) considered to be vulnerable in their locale. Vulnerable taxa are of special concern because of characteristics that make them particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events. Blue-listed taxa are at risk, but are not extirpated, endangered or threatened.

Breeding programs at Zoo Basel

The breeding programs at Zoo Basel have had many highlights since the zoo's opening in 1874. These include the worldwide first zoo births of an Indian rhinoceros and greater flamingo hatch, as well as the first European gorilla birth. Due to Zoo Basel's successful breeding programs, it manages the international studbook for the Indian rhinoceros and the pygmy hippopotamus, as well as several European studbooks.

Brno Zoo

Brno Zoo, is a Czech zoo, located in Brno in Czech Republic.

In 2000, Brno Zoo became member in World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WZO).

The zoo is involved in captive breeding of endangered species coordinated by the European Endangered Species Programme like the Sumatran tiger, giant Hispaniolan Galliwasp, Przewalski's horse, as well as locally threatened species like the Czech owl called the little owl, barn owl or rare rodent species the European ground squirrel and Eurasian beaver.

Critically endangered

A critically endangered (CR) species is one that has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.As of 2014, there are 2,464 animal and 2,104 plant species with this assessment.As the IUCN Red List does not consider a species extinct until extensive, targeted surveys have been conducted, species that are possibly extinct are still listed as critically endangered. IUCN maintains a list of "possibly extinct" CR(PE) and "possibly extinct in the wild" CR(PEW) species, modelled on categories used by BirdLife International to categorize these taxa.


EEP may refer to:

Early Entrance Program (CSU), of the California State University

Education Equality Project, an American educational organization

Ethiopian Electric Power

European Endangered Species Programme

European Environmental Press

Export Enhancement Program, of the United States Department of Agriculture

Extraspinal ependymoma, a type of ependymoma tumor

UK Educational Evidence Portal

European Association of Zoos and Aquaria

The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) is an organisation for the European zoo and aquarium community that links over 340 member organizations in 41 countries. It operates the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP). The organisation is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

EAZA membership is open to all zoos and aquaria across Europe that comply with EAZA's standards. Member zoos and aquariums and other associate members can be found in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The mission of the association is to promote cooperation for furthering regional collection planning and wildlife conservation, mainly through coordinated breeding programs of wild animals such as the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP). The organisation promotes educational activities and advises the European Union, or other representative committees such as the European Parliament and the European Council.

Up until 2014, the EAZA receives no European subsidies.In 2004 EAZA founded the organisation Shellshock to protect tortoises and turtles. Its mascot is Oscar the Turtle, a character from the British TV series Creature comforts. It collected over €250,000 in its first year.

European Studbook

European Studbook may refer to:

The European Studbook (ESB) of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (see also: the European Endangered Species Programme)

The European Studbook Foundation: focused on reptile and amphibian

Funds for Endangered Parrots

The Funds for Endangered Parrots (FbP) (German: Fonds für bedrohte Papageien) is a German non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the field of species conservation, which supports and operates projects worldwide for endangered parrot species.

Hellabrunn Zoo

Hellabrunn Zoo (or Tierpark Hellabrunn in German) is a 40 hectare (99 acre) zoological garden in the Bavarian capital of Munich. The zoo is situated on the right bank of the river Isar, in the southern part of Munich near the quarter of Thalkirchen.

A high ratio of enclosures are cageless, relying upon moat features to keep the animals in place.

The zoo was the first zoo in the world not organized by species, but also by geographical aspects. For example, the wood bison share their enclosure with prairie dogs.

In 2013, the zoo was ranked 4th best zoo in Europe (up from 12th). It focuses on conservation and captive breeding rare species such as the rare drill and silvery gibbons. Also gorillas, giraffes, elephants, wood bisons, elk and Arctic foxes were successfully bred in the zoo, which houses a large number of species. It is one of the very few zoos that allows visitors to bring dogs.

Tierpark Hellabrunn is a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and participates in the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).

Isle of Wight Zoo

The Isle of Wight Zoo, previously known as the Sandown Zoo, is a sanctuary inside the former Sandown Fort on the coastline of Sandown, Isle of Wight. The zoo was privately owned but became a charitable trust in 2017. The collection focuses principally on big cats and Madagascan animals.

As part of the European Endangered Species Programme, the zoo has had success breeding several species of Madagascan animals including the critically endangered black-and-white ruffed lemur.

List of extinct and endangered species of Italy

This is a list of extinct and endangered species of Italy.

Marius (giraffe)

Marius (6 February 2012 – 9 February 2014) was a young male giraffe living at Copenhagen Zoo. Though healthy, he was genetically unsuitable for future breeding, as his genes were overrepresented in the captive population, so it was decided by the zoo authorities to kill him. Despite several offers to adopt Marius, which went against zoo policy of selling to private owners, and an online petition to save him, he was killed on 9 February 2014. His body was then dissected and necropsied in a public educational class and he was then fed to the zoo's lions. The event received worldwide media coverage and generated responses from several organisations and individuals, including death threats to staff at the zoo.Since records began in the early 1900s, five giraffes have been killed for similar conservation management reasons. This is out of a captive population in Europe that in 2014 stood at 798 giraffes. Since 2012, two other young giraffe bulls in the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) have been killed.

Pairi Daiza

Pairi Daiza (formerly Paradisio) is a privately owned zoo and botanical garden located in Brugelette in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. The 65-hectare (160-acre) large animal theme park is located on the site of the former Cistercian Cambron Abbey, and is home to over 4,000 animals. The name is taken from the Avestan word pairi daēza, which is the source of the [Persian language] word paradise.

Pairi Daiza is owned and operated by Pairi Daiza Belgium SA, a limited company previously listed on NYSE Alternext Brussels (code: PARD). It is a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), and participates in the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).

Plzeň Zoo

Plzeň Zoo, (Zoologická a botanická zahrada města Plzně) is a Czech zoo, located in Plzeň in Czech Republic. After Liberec Zoo is the second oldest zoo in the Czech Republic, founded in 1926 on the river banks of the river Radbuza.

Plzen zoo has 40 species of animals from EEP European Endangered Species Programme and is responsible for the European studbook for Dwarf and Thick tailed Maki.

Rostock Zoo

Rostock Zoo (German: Zoologische Garten Rostock) is a zoo in the city of Rostock, founded in 1899. It covers 56 hectares and with 4,500 animals from 320 species, Rostock Zoo is the largest zoo on the German east coast. Rostock Zoo is studbook keeper of Polar bears within the European Endangered Species Programme. The director of Rostock Zoo is Udo Nagel.

Species Survival Plan

The American Species Survival Plan or SSP program was developed in 1981 by the (American) Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help ensure the survival of selected species in zoos and aquariums, most of which are threatened or endangered in the wild.

Zagreb Zoo

Zagreb Zoo (Croatian: Zološki vrt grada Zagreba) is a 7-hectare (17-acre) zoo located within Maksimir Park in Zagreb, Croatia and is across the street from Zagreb's Stadion Maksimir, where major football matches are played and rock concerts take place. It is one of three zoo parks in the country.

Zagreb Zoo is a member of both the European and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is a participant in the European Endangered Species Programme.

ZooParc de Beauval

The ZooParc de Beauval (French pronunciation: ​[zo.opaʁk də boval]), more commonly called Beauval zoo or, more simply, Beauval, is a French zoological park located in Saint-Aignan, in the Loir-et-Cher department, in the Centre-Val de Loire region. It features more than 3,000 animals on 35 hectares, which is one of the largest animal collections in France and in Europe. Created in 1980 by Françoise Delord, it is now run by her son, Rodolphe Delord, and managed by his family, which owns most of the capital.

Beauval was often the first zoo to have some animals in France, which contributed to its reputation and to its development. It has been the first zoo in France to present leucistic big cats, white tigers and white lions, in the 1990s. Still today, many species are rare in France, such as the okapi and the tree kangaroos, or even unique, such as the koala and the giant panda.

Four greenhouses presents birds, great apes, sloths, reptiles, manatees and Australasian animals, while three plains allows to present herbivores of the African savannah (giraffes, white rhinos, wildebeest, antelopes ...), African elephants and Asian herbivores (Indian rhinos, Malayan tapirs, antelopes ...). Other notable facilities in the park are the Chinese zone called On China heights, the African swamp called The Hippos Reserve, and the two spaces dedicated to shows: the sea lion basin presenting the sea lions Odyssey and the outdoor theater presenting a free flight bird show, entitled Masters of airs.

As a permanent member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, it joined ex situ conservation by participating in European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which it coordinates three of them. It also supports in situ conservation associations working in the field through its dedicated association, Beauval Nature, and has reintroduced several animals in Africa.

The ZooParc de Beauval also proposes a consistent hotel offers with three accommodation facilities: an apartment hotel, Les Hameaux de Beauval, and two 3-star hotels: Les Jardins de Beauval Balinese inspired and Les Pagodes de Beauval in Chinese style.

With more than 900,000 annual visitors since 2012, it is the most visited touristic site of the Centre-Val de Loire region, one of the five most visited zoological institutions in France and the most visited private conventional zoo of the country. In 2013, the ZooParc de Beauval had 170 permanent employees. In 2014, it had a revenue of 30.1 million euros and a net income of 1.8 million euros.

Zoo d'Amnéville

The Amneville Zoo is a French zoological park of the Grand Est region, located in the Moselle valley, between Metz and the Luxembourg border, in the town of Amnéville. About 1,500 animals of 360 species are presented on 18 hectares. It is headed by its founder, Michel Louis, since 1986. Formed as a worker cooperative, it is owned by its employees-cooperators.

It is the only French zoo to present a show of tamed tigers, a controversial feature that allowed it to increase its attendance but also earned it to be demoted to the rank of temporary member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), and then to be excluded of it. Within this association it participates in several European Endangered Species Programme. It is also one of the few zoos in France to present gorillas and orangutans.

With an average of 629,000 visitors per year between 2011 and 2015, it is one of the ten most popular zoos in France.

By region
South Africa

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