ESF studbook categories

The ESF divides the studbooks into three categories. This classification is especially meant to indicate the measure of the necessity of a studbook to maintain a captive population in the European Community (EU). Next to this the classification indicates also which protection measures according to the ESF are necessary to maintain that studbook.

The classification of the categories is based on two parameters, namely the situation of the animal species in nature and the situation of the animal species in captivity in the EU. The determination of the category of a studbook is based on the classification of both situations.

Classification of the situation in nature (in situ) according to the IUCN red list

A.  IUCN classification endangered, critically endangered, extinct in the wild

B.  IUCN classification vulnerable

C.  IUCN classification near threatend

D.  IUCN classification least concern, data deficient, not listed

Classification of the situation in captivity (ex situ) in the EU countries

A.  less than 10 bloodlines or less than 100 animals and no commercial imports

B.  less than 30 bloodlines or less than 300 animals and at the utmost incidental imports

C.  more than 30 bloodlines or more than 300 animals and or regular large- scale imports

Herewith it is the point of the total captivity population present in the EG and not only the studbook population. It is possible that the above-mentioned files are not available in many cases. In these cases an estimation of the numbers with a explanation will do.

The above-mentioned two classifications leads to the next ESF category classification.

A. High protection. This category means that the species is threatened in the wild or is expected to become threatened in the near future and that keeping a genetically healthy population in captivity could be essential for the survival of the species.

B. Moderate protection. This category means that there is no direct danger of extinction for the species in the wild but close monitoring of the population stays important. This category will also be given to species of which the captive population is very small and or consists of a very limited number of bloodlines so careful breeding stays necessary.

C. Low protection. This category is given to species with save populations in the wild and in captivity.

The view:

IUCN classification Captivity classification ESF studbook category
A A,B A
A C B
B A A
B B,C B
C A B
C B,C C
D A B
D B C
D C No Studbook Approval

Of course the studbook category A is the most filling up of the aim of the ESF. To these A- studbooks there will be the most demands on registration, keeping, reports, breeding programmes, enlargement of knowledge and cooperation.

There is to be expected of the studbook managers a periodical test of the category classification of their studbooks to the above mentioned classifications of the two situations, in order to guarantee the actuality of their studbooks and to anticipate betimes on changed situations. Changing on the category will be determined with a motivation by the ESF board in cooperation with the studbook keeper.

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Last Updated on Monday, March 02 2015