Acquisition of genetic material
Learn how we are going to rescue endangered species.
Fragmentation of territories and separation of populations from each other mean that wild cats often do not have the possibility of healthy reproduction. Animals should be able to use all conditions for effective reproduction given to wild species by nature.
The cat should not lose the reproductive period for fruitless search for a partner, in areas with low availability of prey. Males should not be frustrated by the inability to reach the female in heat through human settlements. In addition, closely related individuals of the opposite sex should not be in the same, small area. Breeding animals in close relation increases the risk of genetic defects, reduces survival and contributes to the disappearance of the species.
People significantly limit the possibilities of wild cats to create healthy populations and without human help they will soon cease to exist. That is why the Save Wild Cats Foundation team decided to support wild cats threatened by the progress of civilization. Our task is to thoroughly understand the nature, lifestyle and needs of endangered cats. We want to use the latest achievements of veterinary medicine in the field of assisted reproduction to increase the number of endangered cat species, as well as increase their genetic diversity.
With the help of the Department of Reproduction and Clinic of Farm Animals, operating at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Environmental and Life Sciences in Wrocław, we want to study the methods of obtaining and storing the genetic material of wild cats so that it can be used to restore species in the future. Feline reproduction is a field of veterinary science that is just beginning to develop. Particularly in the case of endangered species that have not been fully understood, there are some difficulties with assisted reproduction. That is why we intend to cooperate also with specialists from around the world, whose knowledge and experience will help us achieve the desired goal.
In the future, we want to be able to collect not only male semen, but also female oocytes, and assess their quality. Healthy male cells will rest at the headquarters of the Save Wild Cats Foundation, where thanks to cryopreservation methods they will wait for the possibility of creating a new life. The protection and storage of female feline reproductive cells is unfortunately still a huge challenge for science. We hope to participate in the development of effective methods that will allow them to be properly protected for further reproduction and extension of the species.
The storage of genetic material requires specialized supplies, which we must purchase. We will need appropriate carriers for reproductive cells, freezing devices and substrates (e.g. liquid nitrogen) and equipment enabling the assessment of collected material (special microscopes and others). The laboratory will be built at Włocławska 161 in Toruń and will cooperate with a scientific institution of the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences.
Another challenge will be traveling to hard-to-reach places for wild cats and obtaining genetic material. There are several methods for collecting semen from males. Sometimes adequate anesthesia is enough. It causes involuntary sperm ejection with urine. In the case of oocytes, the collection methods are more complicated, which requires us to further research and improve in this area.
Once the above assumptions are achieved, we will go a step further. From the obtained cells we will try to restore the population of endangered wild cats. Thanks to advanced assisted reproduction techniques, such as in vitro fertilization, wild feline kittens will be born. We will follow their development from the moment of conception, throughout the entire youth. Breeding cats will live in reserves and will increase the number of individuals of their species. We hope that thanks to our work in the future, most wild felidae species will no longer be on the list of endangered animals.
How you can help
If you want to help us save endangered species of cats, you can make a donation. Set the amount you pay in the name of protecting these beautiful animals. As a thank you for a donation of minimum PLN 10 you will receive from us a code entitling you to download one of the many wallpapers for your computer and phone.support SWCF