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Thursday, August 9 • 8:00am - 9:00am
PLENARY SESSION V - Integrating Fertility Preservation and Cryo-banking into the Conservation of Rare and Endangered Deer Species

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Integrating Fertility Preservation and Cryo-banking into the Conservation of Rare and Endangered Deer Species
Pierre Comizzoli, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC

More than 50 deer species live in diverse ecosystems around the world.  Unfortunately, a vast majority of them are threatened or endangered because of over-hunting, poaching or habitat destruction.  Protection of wild populations (in situ) and management of animal collections in zoos and breeding centers (ex situ) are complementary conservation efforts relying on multidisciplinary approaches.  Reproductive biology is one of the fundamental areas that needs to be properly understood to ensure the success of in situ or ex situ programs.  Interestingly, there is a vast diversity in reproductive traits within the cervid family (from the anatomy to the breeding season patterns).  Based on this fundamental knowledge, adapted reproductive biotechnologies have been developed to enhance reproduction and preserve fertility of individuals.  Early works on artificial insemination (AI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), and germplasm freezing in the more common red deer, sika deer, and white-tailed deer have been highly inspiring to projects aiming at saving endangered deer species.  Few births of fawns produced by AI or IVF have been reported in wild species (including the Eld’s deer); however, assisted reproductive techniques and cryo-banking currently are not integrated into the management of rare and endangered populations.  Knowing that many deer populations are rapidly declining in situ and ex situ, there is now an urgent need for improved techniques and more fertility preservation options.  This lecture will review current initiatives conducted in different species, with an emphasis on recent advances made in South-East Asia.

Plenary Presenters
avatar for Pierre Comizzoli

Pierre Comizzoli

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC
Pierre Comizzoli started his career 25 years ago as a research veterinarian in French Guyana to study the seasonal reproduction of different mammalian species living in the rain forest. His next appointment was in the African Sahelo-Saharan region where he was in charge of health... Read More →



Thursday August 9, 2018 8:00am - 9:00am MDT
Assembly Hall C

Attendees (4)