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How can we introduce art into wild felid conservation in practice? Joint experience in semen collection from captive wild felids in Europe

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Simple Summary Artificial reproductive techniques (ART), such as cryopreservation of sperm cells and artificial insemination, are useful tools for species conservation. However, there is relatively little information published about their introduction into clinical practice for wild felids. The aim of this paper was to describe how those techniques were applied by three European teams in various species of wild felids. In total, this article presents 22 semen collection attempts in 12 species of wild felids, 15 of which were successful and resulted in the collection of at least one million spermatozoa. The failures in obtaining spermatozoa were most probably due to (1) male infertility, (2) wrong age/non-breeding season, or (3) recent multiple copulations. The cases presented in the article confirm that although ART have been introduced into clinical practice, they are mostly used in cases of infertility, not as routine breeding tools. Greater involvement of zoological gardens and private breeders is required, as many chances for preservation of valuable material are lost. Although artificial reproductive techniques (ART) are considered to be a valuable tool for species conservation, information about their introduction into clinical practice for wild felids is limited. The aim of this paper was to jointly describe cases of non-experimental sperm collection from males of various species of wild felids, performed by three European centers focused on feline reproduction. In total, the article presents 22 attempts of semen collection in 12 species of wild felids. The reasons for semen collection were: fertility assessment (10 cases), artificial insemination (5 cases), sperm rescue (postmortem collection for cryopreservation, 5 cases), and sperm banking (in vivo collection for cryopreservation, 2 cases). Semen collection was successful (defined as at least 1 x 10(6) spermatozoa) in 15 cases. The failures in obtaining spermatozoa were most probably due to (1) male infertility, (2) wrong age/non-breeding season, or (3) recent multiple copulations. The cases presented here confirm that although ART have been introduced into clinical practice, they are mostly used in cases of infertility, not as routine breeding tools. Higher involvement of zoological gardens and private breeders is required, as many chances for preservation of valuable material are lost.
Journal: ANIMALS
ISSN: 2076-2615
Issue: 7
Volume: 12
Publication year:2022
Accessibility:Open