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Memphis Zoo research team finds out how to build new wild population

The paper is based on the work of the Amphibian Lab, both at the zoo and at the Meeman Biological Station at the University of Memphis last summer.
Credit: Memphis Zoo

MEMPHIS, Tenn — The Memphis Zoo's Amphibian Research Lab has published a study on captive-release in the scientific journal Conservation Science & Practice.

According to a release, the paper is based on the work of the Amphibian Lab, both at the zoo and at the Meeman Biological Station at the University of Memphis last summer. 

Using a local toad species in Memphis as a model system, the research team showed how captive-bred animals grow and survive compared to natural-bred individuals after they're released into the wild. 

It's the first in situ (on-site) experimental comparison showing the effectiveness of captive-release programs for an animal that was bred artificially using frozen sperm. 

The team was also able to use statistical tools to project how this captive-build population would do 30 years from now and see how captive programs can increase their impact to reach their goal of building a stable wild population. 

According to the zoo, the research demonstrates the contributions zoos can make to ensuring wild populations survive. 

You can read the full study below:

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