Animal research is also helping to prevent the extinction of endangered species through advanced reproductive techniques. For example, research into assistive reproductive technology – ranging from in vitro fertilization to cloning – creates the potential for endangered species to be bred in captivity and then released into the wild. The National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., has such programs for endangered cats and endangered canids. It is also creating a genome resource bank to protect and preserve biodiversity. Understanding the physiology of endangered species and improving conservation technology will be critical to preventing further endangerment and extinction.
Animal research plays a significant role in helping endangered animal populations. From assistive reproductive technology to vaccines for Ebola, animal research is greatly benefitting species that may otherwise disappear due to disease or man’s interference with the natural, delicate balance of the world’s ecosystem.
Zoos across the world participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA’s) Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program, which aims to manage the breeding of specific endangered species in order to help maintain healthy and self-sustaining populations that are both genetically diverse and demographically stable.
Source: Foundation for Biomedical Research