Cloning endangered animals

I just read an article about conservationists in Brazil at the agricultural research agency (Embrapa) who are planning on cloning endangered animals using tissue samples collected from carcasses. The researchers want to clone animals that are not yet critically endangered in order to maintain them in captivity in the event that wild populations decline significantly.

Emprapa is planning to start with the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), a species that is “near threatened” according to the IUCN Red List of endangered species. Other planned species include jaguars, black lion tamarins, bush dogs, collared anteaters, gray brocket deer, coatis, and bison. 

Source:

New Scientist

Comments

  1. #1 Jockaira
    CSL, BCS, Mexico
    November 14, 2012

    The effort is laudable but even if the genes of the clones are exactly 100% the same, the animals will not easily survive in the natural wild environment bacause they will lack the learnings passed onto them from their genetic parents and rude experience itself. They will have to be gently introduced to the wild environment until succeeding natural generations show ability to survive without human hand-holding.

    The best solution to disappearing species is to curtail human activities in selected environments. As impractical as this is in most cases, it is the only long term answer.

  2. #2 pyst
    November 16, 2012

    Using the dna from carcasses implies that we are saving that which natural selection has and would have eliminated.

    If this experiment goes forward and the progeny is tracked it would be very interesting to see if fate continues to eliminate
    the subjects.

  3. #3 bill
    November 17, 2012

    What advantage does cloning have over breeding progams?

  4. #4 Graham
    November 21, 2012

    they should try and get DNA from the remains of extinct animals
    to try and bring some back

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