Ex-situ conservation.

Breeding and maintenance of fauna and flora outside their natural habitats.

Importance of ex- situ

·         In few remaining individual from the wild  & look after them in more / less artificial conditions (vulnerable )Several sp would be extinct if not form the captive breeding programs.

·         When the conditions become so extreme its necessary to practice ex-situ.


Ex-situ conservation for flora:

1.       Botanical gardens

2.       Arboreta

3.       Forestry nurseries

4.       Seed banks

5.       Gene banks

6.       Germplasm collections

For fauna

1.       Zoological garden.

2.       Aquaria

3.       Hatcheries

4.       Germplasm collections


Basic principles which are consider for the successful modern ex-situ conservation

Conservation genetics



Limitations of ex-situ conservation

1. Inbreeding depression

Populations are small & isolated so more chance of inbreeding & less chance to choose the mates

(Mating is not random) / Between relatives. Leads to

·         Loss of diversity.

·         Expression of harmful alleles

2. Restricted population: No migrations occur also minimize gene migration.

3. Reproduction via artificial means thus Violation of basic principles of genetics: : in vitro fertilization ,artificial insemination.

4.Behavior is not considered leads to changes in their behaviors: birds are no longer held in cages but walk in aviaries sharks are no longer held in cement tanks but transparent contoured water tanks, nocturnal animals are not exhibited outdoor enclosure, social animals like lions & primates are not exhibited singly / in pairs but in prides / troops.

5. Expensive method

6. Rare genotypes are often absent in ex-situ.

7. Collection is subjected to mechanical breakdown /accidents.

8. Co-evolution of a crop plant with other organisms, such as pollinators & potential pests & disease not        occur.

9.ecology  has to be considered : animals of exotic land are held in cramped ,cage, in large pits, size & biology of animal ,how & what it eats ,nocturnal ?,climbs/digs ,solitary/social.

10. Peculiar characteristics of each individual such as behavior may change or become aggressive.

11. Adaptation / evolution will not continue to occur.

·         Education & public awareness is necessary :info about species , behavior, habitat ,threatened to concern lectures ,guild tour, circus, animals used for research purpose increase awareness of visitor.









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