Another leading light in the field is Thomas Hildebrandt, who heads the recreation management program for Berlin’s Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research and is popular amongst wildlife vets for his pioneering work in endangered types insemination. Hildebrandt, who helped develop upwards of 50 threatened elephant calves by artificially inseminating their mothers is now focusing his attention on trying to rescue the Northern White Rhino using IVF strategies. Widespread poaching in the 1970s and 1980s and surging need in Asia for rhino horns annihilated the animal’s populations in Africa– only two people, Fatu and Najin (both female and incapable of carrying infants due to health problems) live today; the last male, Sudan, died in March 2018.
To date, Silber and his associates have helped a half dozen leading U.S. zoos maintain healthy populations of chimpanzees, gorillas, South American bush canines, Mexican wolves, orangutans and Mongolian wild horses utilizing surgical methods, artificial insemination, IVF and gestational surrogacy (whereby another female besides the genetic mother brings the pregnancy to term).
Now Hildebrandt and associates desire to bring them back. They froze the sperm from Sudan and 4 other males prior to they passed away and wish to integrate it with eggs harvested from Fatu and Najin while using less threatened however genetically similar Southern White Rhino females as pregnancy surrogates. While this “child step” won’t be sufficient to accomplish the genetic variety required to develop a sustainable long-term population, Hildebrandt hopes it can open funders’ eyes to the possibility of actually restoring populations of Northern White Rhinos and other types through stem cell research and other methods researchers haven’t even thought up yet.
While such methods have helped countless couples around the world bear healthy children, just recently have researchers used such methods to bringing threatened wildlife types back from the edge of extinction. “The genes of human fertility can offer a much better understanding of fertility in more unique species,” reports Dr. Sherman Silber, a pioneering human fertility specialist at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri who has had success using the lessons discovered on humans to animals.
“We have actually frozen ovaries in animals that are destined to pass away off for later on ovary transplantation back to associated species to be able to increase their population,” reports Silber, who has lately been ramping up efforts to revive dwindling populations of still-wild threatened types.
Only recently have scientists used such techniques to bringing threatened wildlife types back from the verge of extinction.
— This post
was formerly released on earthtalk.org and is republished here with consent from the author.
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Dear EarthTalk: Can fertility techniques pioneered for humans or other animals be utilized to attempt to bring back endangered wildlife types? While such strategies have helped millions of couples around the world bear healthy infants, only just recently have scientists applied such strategies to bringing threatened wildlife types back from the brink of termination. Hildebrandt, who helped develop upwards of 50 threatened elephant calves by artificially inseminating their mothers is now focusing his attention on attempting to rescue the Northern White Rhino using IVF techniques. They froze the sperm from Sudan and 4 other males before they died and hope to integrate it with eggs harvested from Fatu and Najin while utilizing less threatened but genetically comparable Southern White Rhino women as pregnancy surrogates.< a href=”https://goodmenproject.com/registration/?discount=lbkr”> A total list of benefits is here.