The Endangered Species Rehabilitation Project with Oliver Ryder
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The Endangered Species Rehabilitation Project with Oliver Ryder

A new species of bird was discovered in Hawaii in 1978, only to get extinct ten years ago. Year after year, the list of endangered animal species is getting longer, and that is why Director of Conservation Genetics at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research Oliver Ryder is working hard on the endangered species rehabilitation project, or what is simply called the frozen zoo. Oliver and his team collect cells from critically endangered and extinct species to propagate and freeze and to eventually be able to repopulate these animals into certain environments or ecosystems. Oliver admits it’s a lofty goal and there’s a lot of science that lies between what they’re doing and that possibility, but one thing is clear. The most important thing we can do in our time is bank more of this material, foster the development of more frozen zoos, and expand the effort. For this to work, Oliver says we need to have a network of frozen zoos across the globe in regions that are rich in biological diversity and expand the science of how to grow cells.

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