We are collaborators from different fields and backgrounds, with one common idea: promoting conservation breeding
Dr Imke Lüders (Founder)
"As a freelance zoo and wildlife veterinarian, I realized that we have a valuable genetic pool of rare and endangered mammals in our zoological facilities. Key to maintain and develop this treasure is successful reproduction. Conservation breeding requires adequate support."
Matthias Kohlhardt (Founder)
"Traditionally, conservation projects focus on habitat protection, human-wildlife-conflict mitigation and anti-poaching measures. If they fail, captive populations become the last resort. How desastrous, if the last of their kind don´t reproduce at the expected rate, just because we failed to unterstand their special physiology and needs? Assisted reproduction may help and options need to be researched urgently. "
Dr Ilse Luther (Research Coordinator, South Africa)
"Genetic diversity is important for healthy populations. In the future, we may rather transfer semen or embryos between populations or facilities instead of transferring animals out of the wild into captive breeding projects. In order to enhance this process, sampling and banking procedures need to be optimized. We need to be ready for data and sample collection whenever an animal is immobilized."
Dr Ann-Kathrin Oerke (European Elephant Service, DPZ, Göttingen)
"For me as an endocrinologist, hormones provide a key to understanding reproductive biology of endangered species. Non-invasive methods help to assess fertility in both, males and females. Monitoring of estrus cycles, prediction of ovulation and confirmation of pregnancy are basic prerequisites for any successful breeding program. However, for many exotic animals this data is absent and demands further research."
Dr Cyriel Ververs (University of Ghent)
"With rapidly decreasing numbers of free roaming animals, mostly human-induced, it is our responsibility as a society to look beyond current methods and into future perspectives. Assisted reproduction technologies take on great value in terms of genetic diversity maintenance and species survival. Combining our current knowledge in animal reproduction with species specific advances will offer solutions at times when assisted reproduction technologies are warranted to prevent species from going extinct."