If a species is unable to survive in the wild then the only way that it can be saved from extinction is through captive breeding. There are a number of species that would now be extinct were it not for captive breeding, including the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus), Pere David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus), Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), the Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha) and the Potosi pupfish (Cyprinodon alvarezi). In many more cases, captive breeding programmes have been initiated for species that are rapidly dwindling in the wild in order to maintain as large a gene pool as possible and, in some cases, to provide a source of plants and animals for translocation programmes. Space, money, expertise and other resources that are needed for this costly endeavour are limited, and decisions about which species will be captively bred are often motivated by their appeal to humans, with mammals, birds and flowering plants generally receiving much more attention than invertebrates or lower plants.
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