Saving Imperiled Cats
Most of the world’s cat populations are declining in the wild due to habitat loss and degradation. Zoo-housed felids serve as assurance populations that can protect against species extinction and potentially allow reintroduction of zoo-born animals back into the wild. For three decades, CREW scientists have been unraveling the mysteries of felid reproduction through basic, prospective, and systematic research. Findings from these studies have led to improved management, reproduction, and welfare of these imperiled species. Most recently, CREW’s Imperiled Cat Signature Project has pioneered new semen freezing and artificial insemination methods, significantly improving our capacity to produce viable offspring with both freshly-collected and frozen-thawed sperm. Using our innovative ART approaches, pregnancies have been produced in multiple cat species, including the sand cat, Pallas’ cat, fishing cat, ocelot, jaguar, and tiger.