In an ideal world, there would be no need to conserve any species in captivity. Unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world and with many species facing an uncertain future in the wild, the need for coordinated captive breeding efforts has never been more paramount.

Many zoological institutions are, understandably, focusing on larger species. Therefore the onus falls to private individuals, like myself, to help conserve many of the threatened reptile and amphibian species. To avoid these individuals working in isolation and to provide support and guidance to them, a studbook may be created to help coordinate activity.

The European Studbook Foundation is a non profit organisation which began in 1998 and acts as a central point of contact for zoological establishments and private individuals throughout Europe. Each species is allocated a Studbook Holder and an Assistant Studbook Holder. These individuals coordinate the movement of registered animals and produce an annual report on behalf of the foundation.

The foundation has 4 main aims or objectives:

  • Conservation of Reptiles and Amphibians in captivity, with an emphasis on Endangered Species.
  • Management of European Studbooks.
  • Management of genetically healthy breeding programmes.
  • Cooperation with re-introduction programmes. Help with the gathering, compiling and communication of knowledge with a focus on best practice in terms of husbandry and reproduction.

It is worth remembering that registration of animals, as far as the European Studbook Foundation is concerned, is completely voluntary and that ownership of animal’s remains with you at all times and NOT the studbook.

For further information on the work being done by the European Studbook Foundation or to see if a species you keep is currently under management, check out –

UKCoordinator for the European Studbook Foundation