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.