Forty years of assisted reproduction research in non-domestic, wild and endangered mammals.
For nearly forty years, at three institutions, our team conducted studies to advance the use of ARTs for propagating threatened and endangered mammalian species. The initial studies began in 1978 in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, moving in the mid-1980's to The Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CREW) at the Cincinnati Zoo and lastly at the Audubon Center for Research in Endangered Species (ACRES) in New Orleans from 1996 to 2015. Our collaborative endeavors with more than two dozen zoological and academic institutions resulted in the births of ET offspring in two non-human primate species, four non-domestic bovid species and seven non-domestic felid species, six of which were inter-species transfers (Table 1). Origin of embryos that were successfully transferred ranged from those flushed from the uterus of mated females (baboon and bovids) to those generated by IVF, ICSI, and SCNT (gorilla and non-domestic felids). Additionally, embryos of five species underwent cryopreservation (baboon, common eland, African wildcat, caracal, black-footed cat) before successful transfer.