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Background and organisation of studbook breeding programmes
Sign 'Stichting Overkoepeld Orgaan Stamboeken' Since 1992 several Dutch herpetological societies have initiated a total of 60 studbook programmes on reptile and amphibian species. In 1997, all programmes were condensed into an independent foundation known as: "Stichting Overkoepelend Orgaan Stamboeken", now knows as European Studbook Foundation (ESF). Early in its development, ESF formulated the very important criteria that no studbook participant would jeopardise their important herpetological contributions and goals with any commercial enterprise from their specimens, either currently or in the future.

The aims of the studbook programmes in general are: These conservation goals are particularly relevant today as wild populations of many reptiles and amphibians experience increasing survival pressures. Establishing working programs that emphasise captive husbandry in conjunction with fieldwork is crucial in developing sound wildlife management. A significant contribution that captive animals may perform is through the concept of re-introduction of their potential offspring. Although re-introduction of species is at a very early stage and occasionally controversial, there may come a time when the offspring of captive animals are the sole source for re-introducing species into previously suitable habitat where the natural population has become extinct. More importantly re-introduction has the potential of insuring genetic diversity to populations that have become unnaturally isolated due to human interference.
When a healthy captive population is present, this will decrease the number of wild specimens of the species taken from the wild for the live animal trade.

Each studbook is coordinated by a studbook coordinator. As mentioned before, all coordinators are supervised by an overall foundation. Coordination of the studbooks on Homopus is organised through the Homopus Research Foundation.
Keepers of species for which a studbook exists, can apply for registration. Only specimens that are present legally can be registered. Registration occurs by means of a standard registration form. When the specimens have been registered in the administration, the keeper (now participant) receives the studbook registration numbers of his animals.
Registering is voluntarily; specimens can be withdrawn at any moment and there will never be advises (for instance about transferring solitary specimens in order to form suitable breeding groups) that must be followed. However, all persons involved in a studbook are supposed to share the same general view on studbooks and studbook management (preventing inbreeding, maintaining genetic diversity, sharing of information, et cetera), understanding that decisions have to be made in the benefit of the studbook populations.
In case mutations (births, deaths, transfers, sexual maturity) occur, the participant should post a modification form to the studbook coordinator. For the registration of animals in the studbook, the coordinator uses specialised software. This software allows to calculate inbreeding factors from individual animals, thus presenting the opportunity to compose optimal breeding groups (the inbreeding factor should be maintained as low as possible in order to set up a genetically diverse captive population).
At least once a year, a report is printed and distributed among the participants of the studbook and the overall foundation. The reports of all studbooks are collected in a yearbook that may be obtained from the secretary of the overall foundation. The names and locations where specific species are being kept are protected by using anonymous codes.
The studbook coordinator should have a central position in collecting and distributing information (articles, personal observations, et cetera) gathered within the studbook. He may ask a small handling fee from the participants, in case these agree with that.