what is your opinion of taking the last of the species in the wild and putting them into zoos with the goal of eventually reintroducing there future offspring back into the wild
Very interesting question, theres examples where this worked but also some where this didnt worked
Where it worked
After 1945 only two captive populations of the Prezwalki’s horse in zoos remained, in Munich and in Prague. By the end of the 1950s, only 12 individual Przewalski’s horses were left in the world.
In 1977, the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski horse was founded in Rotterda, the Foundation started a program of exchange between captive populations in zoos throughout the world to reduce inbreeding, and later began a breeding program of its own. As a result of such efforts, the extant herd has retained a far greater genetic diversity than its genetic bottleneck made likely.
In 1992, sixteen horses were released into the wild in Mongolia, followed by additional animals later on. One of the areas to which they were reintroduced became Khustain Nuruu National Park in 1998. Another reintroduction site is Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area, located at the fringes of the Gobi desert. Lastly, in 2004 and 2005, 22 horses were released by the Association Takh to a third reintroduction site in the buffer zone of the Khar Us Nuur National Park, in the northern edge of the Gobi ecoregion.
Since 2011, Prague Zoo has transported twelve horses to Mongolia in three rounds and it plans to continue to return horses to the wild in the future. The Zoo has the longest uninterrupted history of breeding of Przewalski’s horses in the world and keeps the studbook of this species.
The reintroduced horses successfully reproduced, and the status of the animal was changed from “extinct in the wild” to “endangered” in 2005. On the IUCN Red List, they were reclassified from “extinct in the wild” to “critically endangered” after a reassessment in 2008 and from “critically endangered” to “endangered” after a 2011 reassessment.
California condor (Gymnogyps californianus)
Condor numbers dramatically declined in the 20th century due to poaching, lead poisoning, and habitat destruction. A conservation plan was put in place by the United States government that led to the capture of all the remaining wild condors which was completed in 1987, with a total population of 27 individuals. These surviving birds were bred at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the Los Angeles Zoo. Numbers rose through captive breeding and, beginning in 1991, condors were reintroduced into the wild. The California condor is one of the world’s rarest bird species: as of December 2015 there are 435 condors living wild or in captivity.
Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx)
The Phoenix Zoo and the Fauna and Flora Preservation Society of London are credited with saving the Arabian oryx from extinction. In 1962, these groups started the first captive-breeding herd in any zoo, at the Phoenix Zoo, sometimes referred to as “Operation Oryx”. Starting with 9 animals, the Phoenix Zoo has had over 240 successful births. From Phoenix, oryx were sent to other zoos and parks to start new herds.
Arabian oryx were hunted to extinction in the wild by 1972. By 1980, the number of Arabian oryx in captivity had increased to the point that reintroduction to the wild was started. The first release, to Oman, was attempted with oryx from the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Although numbers in Oman have declined, there are now wild populations in Saudi Arabia and Israel, as well. One of the largest populations is found in Mahazat as-Sayd Protected Area, a large, fenced reserve in Saudi Arabia, covering more than 2000 km2.
In June 2011, the Arabian oryx was relisted as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. The IUCN estimated more than 1,000 Arabian oryx in the wild, with 6,000–7,000 held in captivity worldwide in zoos, preserves, and private collections.
Where it didnt work
Thylacin (Thylacinus cynocephalus)
The Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger or the Tasmanian wolf. Native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, it is believed to have become extinct in the 20th century
The last captive thylacine, later referred to as “Benjamin”, was trapped in the Florentine Valley by Elias Churchill in 1933, and sent to the Hobart Zoo where it lived for three years. The thylacine died on 7 September 1936. It is believed to have died as the result of neglect—locked out of its sheltered sleeping quarters, it was exposed to a rare occurrence of extreme Tasmanian weather: extreme heat during the day and freezing temperatures at night.
Quagga (Equus quagga quagga)
The Quagga was an extinct subspecies of plains zebra that lived in South Africa until the 19th century.
After the Dutch settlement of South Africa began, the quagga was heavily hunted as it competed with domesticated animals for forage. While some individuals were taken to zoos in Europe, breeding programs were unsuccessful. The last wild population lived in the Orange Free State, and the quagga was extinct in the wild by 1878. The last captive specimen died in Amsterdam on 12 August 1883.
So you see this can go either way but i would say overall if it helps the species im for it because nature conservation is very important to me