Guidelines for managing captive Iberian ibex herds for conservation purposes

José Espinosa, Jorge R. López-Olvera, Francisco J. Cano-Manuel, Paulino Fandos, Jesús M. Pérez, Clara López-Graells, Arián Ráez-Bravo, Gregorio Mentaberre, Diego Romero, Ramón C. Soriguer, José E. Granados

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8 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Elsevier GmbH Overexploitation, pollution, habitat loss or emerging diseases have led to a large number of species to extinction. This has made zoos and wildlife enclosures expand their goals beyond entertainment and fun; their participation in conservation and research programs is important for the recovery of multiple species. To ensure success, staff need to know the specific requirements of each species. In case of the Iberian ibex (Capra pyreanica), a wild ungulate endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, different sarcoptic mange outbreaks caused dramatic declines of some ibex populations, which led managers and researchers to explore strategies aimed at preventing and controlling this disease and to reduce its impact on ibex populations. Such management plans included the creation of stock reservoirs as an in-situ conservation measure. The objective of the stock reservoir El Toril, as a key part of a general management plan, is to keep in captivity (in range) a sex and age structured representation of the free-ranging population, with most of its genetic variability, destined for conservation programs. However, under captivity conditions with potential for high concentration of animals, direct contact and stress occur and the appearance, transmission, and severity of diseases could be favored. Therefore, it is necessary to establish health protocols in order to guarantee animal welfare. Spanish Animal Health laws establish specific requirements and preventive measures for controlling diseases in captive populations: sarcoptic mange, tuberculosis, brucellosis and bluetongue are notifiable diseases, and the staff of the reservoir must apply specific diagnostic methods to detect them. The management recommendations presented here may be very useful for other managers involved in the conservation of wild ruminants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-32
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Capra pyrenaica
  • Captivity management
  • Conservation program
  • Health protocol
  • Research
  • Wildlife enclosure


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