Brazilian scientists are moving ahead with plans to clone a number of endangered species. Brazilian Government’s Agricultural Research Agency (EMBRAPA) announced it will attempt to clone eight wild endangered species, reports UPI
Maned Wolf Pup
The list includes jaguars, the maned wolf and the black lion, which will be among the first to be cloned. The full list isn’t available yet ,according to Gary Engberg Outdoors.
The Maned Wolf
The groundbreaking initiative will be conducted by the Brasilia Zoological Garden in partnership with the Brazilian government’s agricultural research agency, EMBRAPA, reports iO9.
The researchers say they’re not seeking to repopulate habitats but would like to increase the number of captive specimens available. They are also declaring that in the event of extreme cases they plan to send some of these animals into the wild. The eight animals were selected for the process by researchers at Brasilia Zoological Garden. The animals are on the list of Red Threatened Species compiled by Chicos Mendes Institute for Biodiversty Conservation (ICMBio) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), according to iO9.
In Brazil there are conservation groups that agree with the plan. But their priorities are to preserve the species in the wild by minimizing hunting and maintaining the habitats according to Hurriyet Daily News:
Within a month, Embrapa hopes to begin cloning the maned wolf, which is classed as “Near Threatened” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of endangered species. About 13,000 remain across South America …jaguars and maned wolves, the researchers hope to clone black lion tamarins, bush dogs, coatis, collared anteaters, gray brocket deer and bison.
Researchers have collected 420 tissue samples, which are currently being stored in their gene banks. The EMBRAPA was responsible in 2001 for the birth of a cloned cow named Vitoria, reports New Scientist.
Since that time various animals have been cloned in Brazil. As it stands the legislation in Brazil doesn’t have set regulations for cloning. But there’s a related bill in the works, reports iO9.
The Black Lion Tamarin
EMBRPA researcher Carlos Federico Martins has concerns that the animals might be vulnerable, and the plan is to keep them out of the wild for now, according to New Scientist:
There are no plans to release cloned animals into the wild. … Being clones, they would lack the genetic variability of wild populations