An introduction to reproductive management in ex situ conservation breeding

This course aims to explain the utility of reproductive management within breeding programmes. The course will identify practical methods of assessing individual fertility and evaluating the success of reproductive decisions. We will describe advanced methods of enhancing reproduction e.g. fertility induction and will present resources available to support breeding programmes with this. Our sessions are designed to be applicable across taxa.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  1. Understand what reproductive management is and how it can be effectively integrated into your breeding programme/collection
  2. Understand what support is available for breeding programmes in terms of reproductive management
  3. Understand how to holistically evaluate the impacts of breeding recommendations (breeding/non-breeding, transfers)
  4. Have a basic understanding on limiting reproduction in captive populations (contraception/separation)
  5. Have a basic understanding on how to enhance individual fertility
  6. Have a basic understanding on how to evaluate individual fertility (fertility assessments)


  • What is reproductive management?
  • Identifying barriers to reproduction including an introduction to Reproductive Viability Analysis
  • Fertility assessments
  • An introduction to limiting reproduction
  • An introduction to enhancing reproduction including Artificial Reproductive Technologies (ART)
  • Holistically evaluating impacts of reproductive decisions (welfare, behavioural, social, physiological, reproductive & overall health)
  • Integrating reproductive management with population management

There are no formal assessments. We will design activities that test practical knowledge on how reproductive management can be applied to their breeding programmes/collection.

The course will run for two days, with 5-6 hours of timetabled content each day. No time is required for study, although a background in breeding management is useful. All resources will be provided. For the best experience we recommend participating via computer rather than a phone or other mobile device.

For questions please contact Registration is on a first come, first served basis. 

More course information can be found here


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