Essay On Captive Breeding

1352 Words 5 Pages
The giant panda is an interesting example when looking at the value the society places on animals that are kept in the zoo. Originally, panda bears are found in China, however, with Chinas growing population and modernization, pandas are now considered to be “the most engaged bear in the world” (Lindburge, 65). As with any animal that is vulnerable in this world or is facing extinction, there is no debate that the major contributor to this threat is the human species destroying an ecosystem and causing disastrous effects on all species living in their environment. Habitat loss is due to a continues encroaching and expanding human population, which places “demands for rainforest timber, or for agricultural land or building space”, in addition …show more content…
What this means is that they breed threatened animals in their facilities with the intention of reintroducing them back into their natural environment. This concept may seem to be reasonable, however underneath this simple definition lays a complex process that generates debate and criticism from all that are involved. With only a few reported success stories, captive breeding as a strategy is still seen as a controversial method even within the conservation community (Cohn, Captive Breeding for Conservation, 312). There are many who believe that captive breeding does not help very much with the conservation of animals other than saving a “few critically endangered species”; some also believe that the effort put into financing captive breeding could be put toward the preservation and protection of ecosystems and natural habitats; and then there are those that believe the concept of captive breeding, within the public, creates a false “impression that there is no species extinction problem as long as animals survive in zoos” (Cohn, Captive Breeding for Conservation, 312). To successfully breed an animal, a lot of time, money and effort is required, giving zoos the rights and the responsibility with making the decision as to what animals are chosen for the program, and in that sense “Zoos are limited, supporters and critics agree, to focusing on large, beautiful, or popular animals” (Cohn, …show more content…
It took researchers years before they could successfully develop the panda’s breeding program; the first recorded successful birth was 1963 and the first survival of twines in 1990, however the overall survival rate of panda cubs were only 31% in 1989 and then 61% in 2000 (Lindburge, 150). While the success rate is rising in the quantity of births recorded, it is hard to say whether the quality of rearing those cubs is any better. According to a study on the behavioral characteristic of panda cubs reared in captivity, managerial preference of having the newborns reared by peers as opposed to their mother, in order to “maximize reproductive output”, may result in “long-term behavior ramifications” (Snyder et al, 243). The group of researchers in charge of this study found that “peer-rearing does not provide the young pandas with the same level of social stimulation and interaction as mother-rearing”, depriving the young from experiences resembling that of their wild counterparts (Snyder et al, 243). As one of the main justifications of zoological gardens is captive breeding as a source to replenish the wild of what has been lost, raising animals at the zoo in unrealistic conditions seems to be an impractical method for helping the animal survival in the wild. According to a study by species survival commission, of the

Related Documents