Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Freezing breakthrough offers hope for African wild dogs



Date:  April 5, 2018
Source:  James Cook University

James Cook University researchers in Australia have helped develop a new way to save endangered African wild dogs.

Dr Damien Paris and PhD student Dr Femke Van den Berghe from the Gamete and Embryology (GAME) Lab at James Cook University, have successfully developed a sperm freezing technique for the species (Lycaon pictus).

The highly efficient pack hunters have disappeared from most of their original range across sub-Saharan Africa due to habitat destruction, human persecution and canine disease, leaving less than 6,600 animals remaining in the wild.

Dr Paris said population management and captive breeding programs have begun, but there is a problem.

"One goal of the breeding programs is to ensure the exchange of genetic diversity between packs, which is traditionally achieved by animal translocations. But, due to their complex pack hierarchy, new animals introduced to an existing pack are often attacked, sometimes to the point of being killed," he said.



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