- CBSG was originally named the Captive Breeding Specialist Group when it was formed in 1979 to meet the need for liaison between the academic and field conservation community (like the SSC) and the captive breeding community. Dr. Ulysses S. Seal was appointed as the first chairman in 1979.
- At a meeting for Puerto Rican Toads in 1990, Bob Lacy developed Vortex, a computer simulation model used for population viability analysis. This tool was immediately integrated into CBSG’s workshops and magnified the PHVA program, and is still the premiere PVA tool used today.
- CBSG's eventual integration of risk assessment and conservation management planning workshop processes for ex situ and in situ populations, with an emphasis on maintenance or restoration of wild populations, led us to change our name from 'Captive' to 'Conservation' Breeding Specialist Group in 1994.
- In March of 2003, Ulie Seal passed away after a difficult battle with cancer. The whole conservation community mourned his loss. Before Ulie died, he and CBSG chose Dr. Robert Lacy to step into Ulie’s role as CBSG Chairman. Click here to read Ulie’s bio.
- Bob Lacy served as Chair from Ulie’s death until 2011. During this time, Bob redoubled CBSG’s commitment to the zoo and aquarium community, and continues to urge its strong commitment to conservation. In 2011, Bob chose to step down as Chairman and continue working with CBSG as Science Advisor. Onnie Byers, previously the Executive Director, stepped up into the Chair position and still fills the role today.
- Since our inception in 1979, CBSG has assisted in the development of conservation plans involving over 240 species through more than 500 workshops held in 67 countries.
- CBSG has a membership of 350 professionals coordinated by a headquarters staff of five, assisted by 10 Regional Networks on six continents. CBSG is supported by 140 donor institutions, organizations, and individuals.