Public Release: 

Lincoln Park Zoo hosts second International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference

Zoo partners with International Union for the Conservation of Nature to save species

Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Reintroduction Specialist Group (RSG) will host the 2nd International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference from Nov. 13-16, 2018. After a successful conference at the zoo in 2008, reintroduction biologists and managers from around the globe will again convene in Chicago to share information, triumphs and tribulations from experiences restoring wildlife back into the wild.

From deep sea coral to green-winged macaws, reintroduction biologists are tirelessly working to restore native populations of endangered wildlife. Many wildlife populations throughout the world are experiencing dramatic declines in size or are already extirpated in what scientists have deemed the sixth mass extinction. An established conservation strategy to enhance the restoration of locally extinct populations is the reintroduction of in-situ and ex-situ animals.

"This is a challenging time for many species," said Lincoln Park Zoo's Executive Vice President Megan Ross, Ph.D., "Lincoln Park Zoo is excited to gather the greatest minds in reintroduction science to discuss how we can best increase our impact to preserve the natural world"

The second International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference will bring together top experts in the field to focus on the evolving science of reintroduction and discuss "lessons learned," identify scientific processes that improve effectiveness and build a culture of innovation of theoretical and applied research on wildlife reintroduction and other conservation translocations.

"The health of the natural world depends on us, as much as we depend on it," said University of Otago Prof. and Chair of the Conference's Scientific Advisory Group, Phil Seddon "By developing the science and the practice of reintroduction biology we can restore lost species and the ecosystems in which they live."

While there have been several high-profile successful reintroductions over the past decades including Puerto Rican parrots, California condors, black-footed ferrets and golden lion tamarins, wildlife reintroduction is inherently challenging. More than 40 speakers, including many notable wildlife experts, will present new research findings to foster collaborations and improve the success rates of future reintroduction programs.

Keynotes for the 2018 conference include renowned conservationists including the original founder of the Reintroduction Specialist Group Mark Stanley Price, Ph.D. who successfully reintroduced Arabian oryx to their native habitat after being extinct in the wild for 20 years. Indianapolis Prize winner Prof. Carl Jones, who is credited with bringing several species native to the Isle of Mauritius and Rodrigues Island back from the brink of extinction, including the Mauritius kestrel, pink pigeon, echo parakeet, Maurititus fody, Rodrigues warbler, Rodrigues fody, and Rodrigues fruit bat. Western Australia's Scientist of the Year winner for 2011, Prof. Richard Hobbs who has contributed extensively to the areas of vegetation dynamics and management, ecosystem fragmentation, rehabilitation, and restoration as well as landscape ecology.

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The International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference runs Nov. 13-16 at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Registration is now open at http://www.reintro.org with entry beginning at $450 for students and $650 for professionals. A pre-conference workshop "IUCN Reintroduction Specialist Group Training for Effective Conservation Translocations" will take place Nov. 12 with limited entry and separate registration ($500).

The International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference is also made possible by Calgary Zoo and Saint Louis Zoo.

Media Contacts:

Jillian Braun
312-742-5791
JBraun@lpzoo.org

Emily Altimari
312-742-2236
EAltimari@lpzoo.org

ABOUT LINCOLN PARK ZOO

Lincoln Park Zoo inspires communities to create environments where wildlife will thrive in our urbanizing world. The zoo is a leader in local and global conservation, animal care and welfare, learning, and science. A historic Chicago landmark founded in 1868, the not-for-profit Lincoln Park Zoo, is a privately-managed, member-supported organization and is free and open 365 days a year. Visit us at lpzoo.org.

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