Conserving wild animals the hard way

With regard to … sperm collection from wild animals, FAO does not have guidelines on this, given our emphasis on domestic livestock. However, if the animal can be sacrificed, epididymal sperm collection may be an option. This procedure is briefly discussed in the FAO Guidelines for Cryoconservation of Animal (domestic) Genetic Resources (pages 99-100) ( but some experimentation would likely be needed to adapt it to your species of choice. If the animal must remain alive, options may be to remove sperm from the testes by using a syringe (PESA — Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Extraction), to surgically implant a catheter or by removal of only a single testicle for sperm collection, leaving the other intact. Two scientific documents on epididymal semen collection in livestock by Dr. Flavia Pizzi (one of the authors of the FAO Cryoconservation Guidelines) and her colleagues are available at: (278 kb) (870 kb)

For “conventional” sperm collection from living wild animals, an electro-ejaculator is often used, although this approach will not be successful for all species (e.g. it’s generally not used for pigs and horses among livestock species). In case your target species is wild cats, the following may be of use to you:

That’s from the always interesting DAD-Net. Makes me ever so very grateful the wild relatives I deal with are plants.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *