What Is the Advantage of Ex Situ Conservation?

The major advantage of ex situ conservation is the relative low-cost methods used to cryogenically freeze genetic materials of animals, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Collecting, cryogenically freezing and storing specimens does not take a lot of space, and staff maintenance is minimal. Plus, samples do not suffer from genetic drift while in suspended animation.

Another advantage for ex situ conservation lies in research. Frozen genetic material can be purchased by laboratories and scientists for experimentation. Livestock breeders may also want access the material. Very large populations can be stored in small spaces, so there are ample supplies for researchers. Frozen specimens have a disadvantage in that this material cannot be displayed in zoos for public awareness initiatives.

Ex situ conservation is possible for plant life in regions that can support such flora. Seeds can be collected at sites and transported to nearby nurseries for cultivation and storage. Botanic Gardens Conservation International states that the successful "ex situ" conservation of endangered plants can lead to reintroduction of species into the wild.

Ex situ conservation methods refer to taking plants and animals out of their natural habitats to prevent extinction. Sites of "ex situ" conservation efforts include zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens.