16 March 2007

Got Sperm?

Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus)

In an effort to find new methods to help save the Iberian Lynx, scientists have successfully inseminated domestic cat eggs, with sperm from male Lynxes. No, they're not trying to create cross-breeds, they are actually testing the sperm's fertility--without wasting any eggs from the rare Iberian cat.

Using this new method, scientists can try to develop methods to inseminate female Lynxes, without dealing with any of the problems associated with such a process-capturing, moving, and holding animals, being some of the main ones. It will also hopefully allow them to use sperm from male cats killed on the roads near their confined habitat. Roadkilled Lynx is one of the biggest contributors to the species decline, and by preserving their sperm, it's possible that their genes will not be lost from the population.

Another initiative addresses the Lynx's declining food supply, another major problem threatening the Lynx.

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