Author(s): Wildt DE
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Abstract Cryobiology offers an important opportunity to assist in the management and study of wildlife, including endangered species. The benefits of developing genome resource banks for wildlife are profound, perhaps more so than for traditional uses in terms of livestock and human fertility. In addition to preserving heterozygosity and assisting in the genetic management of rare populations held in captivity, frozen repositories help insure wild populations against natural and human-induced catastrophes. Such banks also are an invaluable source of new knowledge (for basic and applied research) from thousands of species that have yet to be studied. However, it is crucial that genome resource banks for wildlife species be developed in a coordinated fashion that first benefits the conservation of biodiversity. Spurious collections will be of no advantage to genuine conservation. The Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG; of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources' Species Survival Commission) has promoted international dialogue on this topic. CBSG working groups have recognized that such repositories be developed according to specific, scientific guidelines consistent with an international standard that ensures practicality, high-quality ethics, and cost-effectiveness. Areas requiring priority attention also are reviewed, including the need for more basic research, advocacy, and support for developing organized repositories of biomaterials representing the world's diverse biota.
This article was published in ILAR J
and referenced in Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences