2018 ESOCC Workshop, Nuremberg, Germany
At the 2018 Workshop on Ex Situ Options for Cetacean Conservation, biologists, veterinarians and species experts examined trade-offs and discussed lessons learned from recent attempts to save critically endangered small cetaceans using ex situ approaches.
Discussions at the workshop that led to the conclusions and recommendations in the workshop report covered a range of issues, including the need to better inform in situ research, wildlife management, and advocacy communities about the full range of ex situ options available, as many people confuse all such efforts with ‘captive breeding’.
In practice, the range of ex situ approaches includes actions such as safeguarding animals in protected environments, for example in semi-natural reserves and netted or fenced enclosures, as well as the recovery, rehabilitation, and release of stranded, bycaught or otherwise incapacitated individuals. The practice of ex situ management also applies to other actions, such as rescuing animals from imminent threats such as a disease outbreak or a climate catastrophe, drought that dries up river channels leaving stranded animals or fragmented groups, or storms that causes animals to be stranded in unsuitable habitats.