The RSG came into existence in 1988. It began with 80 members spread across the globe and was chaired by Mark Stanley Price. The RSG was hosted at the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for 12 years.

The group was established due to the increase in re-introduction projects worldwide and the need for re-introduction guidelines to assist re-introduction practitioners in conducting viable re-introduction projects worldwide. The RSG’s role was to draft and develop re-introduction guidelines and provide a means of disseminating information on re-introduction projects worldwide via its newsletter, Re-introduction NEWS.

Since 2000, the RSG has been hosted by the Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) headquarters in Abu Dhabi UAE by Frederic Launay who took over as chair in 2000. Since 2013, Frederic Launay and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Head of the Centre for Conservation Research at the Calgary Zoological Society in Canada, have partnered as co-chairs of the Reintroduction Specialist Group.