American Institute of Rhinoceros Science (AIRS)

A model for saving species with science ex situ

CREW is partnering with The Wilds, Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment, George Mason University, the South-East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction & Conservation, and Stellenbosch University, South Africa, on a new, big initiative, taking rhino science and collaboration to a new level while helping to save rhinos from extinction.

AIRS is led by a coalition of expert rhino scientists and is founded on the partnership between CREW (with its renowned Rhino Signature Project), and The Wilds (one of the most successful rhino breeding and management facilities). This large coalition will employ a multidisciplinary, integrative strategy to overcome the four greatest scientific challenges to sustaining rhino populations within our nation’s zoos. The team recognizes that the scientific challenges are inter-related, and studying one of them in isolation will fall short of what could be achieved by tackling all of them together. In short, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. AIRS will consist of a diverse, inclusive team of scientists in all stages of their training/careers. The project will produce science-based, affordable and feasible management recommendations for monitoring and controlling physical condition, iron overload, and reproduction, while ensuring optimal rhino well-being. This program will set a precedent for saving species with science in zoos, a model with value for all species at risk in the wild. (AIRS is supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services #MG249011-OMS-21.)

Greater One-Horned Rhino

CREW scientists developed sperm cryopreservation and artificial insemination procedures for the greater one-horned rhino and produced the first rhino calf by AI with frozen sperm.

Sumatran Rhino

CREW scientists unraveled the mysteries of Sumatran rhino reproduction and produced the first Sumatran rhino calf bred and born in zoos in 112 years.

Rhino Sperm Bank

Sperm samples from some of the most genetically valuable rhinos in the world have been collected and cryopreserved in CREW’s CryoBioBank®.

Rhino Global Partnerships

CREW scientists partner with many organizations and experts to achieve their goal of saving rhinos with science.

Rhino Publications

CREW scientists publish their breakthroughs in scientific, peer-reviewed journals and in articles for the popular press.

Rhino Publications | Rhino Research Masterplan