The Role of Reproductive Management in Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery

Saving a species on the brink of extinction might not be romantic. But it's always essential.

Critically endangered Mexican gray wolves roam the wilds of New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico. They also live in captivity - in conservation organizations like the Wolf Conservation Center and zoos as well. But their future may be "on ice" in cryogenic vaults where some of the most precious genes of the species are being held for future reproductive use. On March 27, 2019, the Wolf Conservation Center offered a free webinar, "The Role of Reproductive Management in Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery," with Cheryl Asa Ph.D. to discuss the complex and critically important world of Mexican gray wolf reproductive management.

About The Speaker:

Cheryl Asa graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. double major in Zoology and Psychology and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology. She recently retired from the Saint Louis Zoo after almost 30 years as Director of Reproductive and Behavioral Sciences, but continues her work with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and Mexican Wolf SSP. Her first research experience with gray wolves was in Minnesota with David Mech, where she studied olfactory communication as well as reproduction. In 1990 she was asked by the USFWS to establish a semen bank for the Mexican gray wolf at the Saint Louis Zoo. That bank has since expanded to include eggs and ovarian tissue from female wolves as well. In addition, her lab at the Zoo has pioneered assisted reproduction methods, such as artificial insemination, for management of Mexican wolf population genetics.

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