European Ex-situ Programme (EEP)

A European program to preserve biodiversity

Due to the loss of biodiversity, European zoological institutions accredited by EAZA (European Association for Zoos and Aquariums) have developed a population management program for animal species in order to remedy the disappearance of many. This program, called EEP, seeks to preserve healthy populations and healthy individuals for more than 400 different species in a zoological environment.

Reproduction in zoos is regulated and rigorously monitored thanks to genetic studies and the cooperation of more than 300 structures involved. Some 400 species in EEP are the subject of recommendations concerning husbandry and breeding conditions. This conservation program ensures animal welfare and the maintenance of the genetic diversity of populations over the long term, through coordinated exchanges of individuals between zoological structures. More and more EEP are working in the field to reconcile so-called in situ (in the natural environment) and ex situ (in the zoological environment) conservation, both of which have the same objective: the preservation of biodiversity.

Each EEP is led by a coordinator assisted by a committee of experts. This coordinator is a specialist in the species concerned and himself works in an EAZA zoo or aquarium. This coordinator has different missions: to collect information on the specimens of the species, to carry out demographic and genetic analyzes in order to develop a program for the future management of the species within the framework of a Long-term Management Plan. Following this work of data collection and analysis, the coordinator, in collaboration with the committee of experts, makes recommendations for transfers between zoos and/or reproduction and initiates scientific studies.

The EEP and ESB at Marineland

A genealogical register of species or European studbook (European StudBook ESB) constitutes European program of conservation for the threatened species, but is less intensive than a program EEP.  Marineland is one of the few zoological institutions in the world to successfully breed emblematic and threatened species such as sandbar sharks, loggerhead seaturtles and several species of tropical fish. 6 species present at Marineland are part of an EEP and 6 are part of an ESB, some of which are classified on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Species present at Marineland part of an EAZA Ex-situ program (EEP) :

  • Southern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) - IUCN status: Vulnerable (VU)
  • Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) - IUCN Status : Vulnerable (VU)
  • King penguin (Aptednodytes patagonica) - IUCN Status : Least Concern (LC)
  • Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) - IUCN Status : Least Concern (LC)
  • California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) - IUCN Status : Least Concern (LC)
  • South American  sea lion (Otaria byronia) - IUCN Status : Least Concern (LC)

Species present at Marineland part of a European Studbook (ESB):

  • Sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) - IUCN Status : Vulnerable (VU)
  • Harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) - IUCN Status : Least Concern (LC)
  • Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) : - IUCN Status: Near Threatened (NT)
  • Zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) - IUCN Status : Endangered (EN)
  • Bluespotted ribbontail ray (Taeniura lymma) - IUCN Status : Least Concern (LC)

The IUCN red list

Created in 1964, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species is the world's most comprehensive source of information on the risk of extinction of animal and plant species.

In the latest edition of the Red List (version 2021.3), out of 142,577 species studied, 40,084 are classified as threatened and France is among the 10 countries hosting the highest number of threatened species.

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