Managed Breeding Programmes

Most of the species held at Chester Zoo are part of breeding programmes.

These programmes help to manage species between different zoos as self-sustaining populations whilst maintaining genetic diversity.  This is important for species that are very close to extinction in the wild, and provides an “insurance” population. 

Zoos can also provide individuals for re-introduction projects – providing plants or animals to put back into the wild.

Chester Zoo has been involved in several native species reintroduction projects including Sand Lizards, Hazel Dormice, Black Poplar and Harvest Mice. 

We also support conservation breeding and reintroduction projects abroad as part of our field programmes, including the Mauritius Fody and Mauritius Olive White-eye in the Mascarenes, and conservation centres in the Philippines breeding several endemic species. 

Chester Zoo utilises the best techniques and equipment available and employs highly trained staff, leading to excellent conservation breeding success for these projects.  Regular long-term monitoring is a key component of these reintroduction projects.

For further information on species at Chester Zoo which are part of an EEP Breeding programme, please see appendices 8 – 14 of the Annual Report.