This is the ninth post in our series on the top 10 wildlife conservation challenges and solutions, to provide some quick and easy to read background information to our game Conservation Crisis.
Challenge #9 – Growing Populations
Increasing wildlife populations in the wild can be difficult, for example if poaching is affecting the ability of animals to naturally breed. If animals in the wild cannot find each other because there are so few of them, or cannot find enough food and water to survive, they will not be able breed naturally. And if new-borns are being seized to be sold as pets in the illegal wildlife trade, populations will not be able to grow naturally. Where species have been so badly targeted in an area that there are no more of them left, such as is the case with some rhino and elephant populations, the species will never recover without human intervention.
Solution #9 – Run Breeding Programmes
Conservationists can help by breeding animals in very well protected reserves and zoological sites and then releasing the animals into the wild in order to help restore and grow the wildlife populations. Animals may also be moved from one reserve to another if they are breeding fast in one place and running out of space to live in, but another site can offer them a home. Critically endangered species often need help from these programmes to enable them to return to their lost homelands and rebuild, such as Lions re-introduced to parks in Rwanda.