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Critically endangered European zoo-bred black rhino breeding in the wild

Dr Jake Veasey

Jul 16, 2023

Momentum builds behind reintroduction

The news that critically endangered, zoo-bred Eastern black rhino are now breeding in Rwanda, is just another example of the staggering momentum building behind successful reintroductions in recent years - it feels like the value of conservation breeding programs and reintroductions is really coming of age from beavers, bison and red kites in the UK, vultures and lynx in continental Europe, cheetah in India, black footed ferrets and Vancouver Island Marmots in North America, all the way through to greater stick nest rats, woylies, boodies and frankly an astonishing list of species from Australia and New Zealand. And make no mistake sceptics amongst you, this is a far from exhaustive list! Amongst all this positive news however, it’s important to to remember reintroductions shouldn’t be seen as a goal, they are an important part of the conservation toolkit - the goal should be to not need them but is it ever fantastic to have them in the back pocket when you do need them because as we’ve seen with beavers in the UK, it’s often about so much more than the species being reintroduced - the wider ecological and even cultural and economic significance of species reintroductions often gets very little look in but it’s there!

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