Table of Contents
ISRN Biodiversity
Volume 2013, Article ID 985037, 11 pages
Review Article

Ex Situ Conservation of Biodiversity with Particular Emphasis to Ethiopia

Department of Zoological Sciences, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Received 26 August 2013; Accepted 16 September 2013

Academic Editors: I. Bisht and D. Schmeller

Copyright © 2013 Mohammed Kasso and Mundanthra Balakrishnan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Biodiversity encompasses variety and variability of all forms of life on earth that play a great role in human existence. Its conservation embraces maintenance, sustainable utilization, and restoration, of the lost and degraded biodiversity through two basic and complementary strategies called in situ and ex situ. Ex situ conservation is the technique of conservation of all levels of biological diversity outside their natural habitats through different techniques like zoo, captive breeding, aquarium, botanical garden, and gene bank. It plays key roles in communicating the issues, raising awareness, and gaining widespread public and political support for conservation actions and for breeding endangered species in captivity for reintroduction. Limitations of ex situ conservation include maintenance of organisms in artificial habitats, deterioration of genetic diversity, inbreeding depression, adaptations to captivity, and accumulation of deleterious alleles. It has many constraints in terms of personnel, costs, and reliance on electric power sources. Ethiopia is considered to be one of the richest centers of genetic resources in the world. Currently, a number of stakeholders/actors are actively working on biodiversity conservation through ex situ conservation strategies by establishing gene banks, botanical garden, and zoo.