New technology for wildlife
New technologies are appearing almost daily that offer potential innovation in wildlife conservation, especially for monitoring wildlife. FAUNA RA Is focused on is a critical missing element in wildlife conservation - Technology for the long-term security of our diminishing wildlife genetic diversity, a Fauna Bank.
Loss of genetic diversity is arguably the biggest avoidable long-term threat to the survival of our unique wildlife.
Irreplaceable genetic diversity to underpin species resilience is being lost every day. Yet the storage of usable frozen genetic material like sperm would provide invaluable insurance against future threats. It could also save existing captive breeding programs millions of dollars per year by reducing the number of captive animals needed to ensure a viable population. At least 23 species of mammals, birds and frogs are currently in some form of captive breeding in Australia.
FAUNABank will marshal presently fragmented activity in the area of wildlife genome storage and utilisation to provide frameworks and new technologies that make genetic management practical. The FAUNABank Network will facilitate communication and promote gene storage amongst stakeholders including gene bank facilities, conservation agencies, researchers and end-users in conservation programs, and advocate and support appropriate policy development. FAUNABank Research Projects will support research in genome storage, recovery and associated reproductive technologies that make it possible to reintroduce lost genes and genetic diversity to populations, and produce live animals for reintroduction and rewilding, and in the worst case scenarios, insurance against extinction.