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European Endangered Species Programmes (EEPs)

What is an EEP?

Breeding programmes, such as the European Endangered Species Programmes (EEP), aim at conserving healthy populations of animals in captivity while safeguarding the genetic health of the animals under our care. These programmes act to provide a future for some of the world’s most vulnerable species, especially where education and in situ conservation work are able to stabilize natural habitats and change destructive behaviours.

The EEP is the most intensive type of population management for a species kept in zoos. Each EEP has a coordinator (someone with a special interest in and knowledge of the species concerned, who is working in a zoo or aquarium). He or she is assisted by a Species Committee. The coordinator has many tasks to fulfill, such as collecting information on the status of all the animals of the species in zoos and aquariums, producing a studbook, carrying out demographic and genetic analyses, and producing a plan for the future management of the species. Together with the Species Committee, recommendations are made each year on which animals should breed or not breed, which individual animals should go from one zoo to another, and so on.

All EEPs are facilitated and endorsed by EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria).

Is BCA Zoo involved in any eeps?

Yes. BCA Zoo actively contributes towards the EEPs for the Pygmy Slow Loris, Bali Starling and Desertas Wolf Spider. All three species are currently housed at BCA Zoo. Although we are yet to breed our Bali Starlings and Pygmy Slow Loris, we have had a great deal of success breeding our Desertas Wolf Spiders with a number of the juveniles bred here now living at other European zoos.

BCA Zoo has also directly contributed to the best practice guidelines for the Desertas Wolf Spider.

Where can I learn more about EEPs and EAZA?

To find out more about EEPs and the work that EAZA does, please click here

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