Knowsley is proud to take part in several breeding programmes that are coordinated within the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). The European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) focuses on species with a Critically Endangered status or above; less Critically Endangered species are managed within a European Stud Book (ESB). The EEP/ESB coordinator collects all the information about each individual animal of that species. They make recommendations on which animals are best to exchange within the zoo community to protect the genetic diversity of the species and sustain the captive population.
In our current collection, 14 species are part of an EEP. These are the Amur tiger, Southern white rhino, red river hog, bush dog, European bison, giraffe, roan antelope, bongo, Eastern kiang, Somali wild ass, eld’s deer, Iberian wolf, lowland tapir and scimitar horned oryx. Five species are part of an ESB. These are the California sea lion, forest buffalo, blesbok, sitatunga and lechwe.
Breeding season differs depending on the species: some are continuous breeders, some are opportunistic breeders and some are seasonal breeders. Always look out for animals giving birth as you visit the safari drive. At some points throughout the year you might be lucky enough to spot the birth of a new animal!
Take a look at some of our breeding programmes below