Reproductive physiology studies in zoological species: Concerns and strategies

David E. Wildt, Mitchell Bush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A sophisticated understanding of reproductive physiology of domestic animals has evolved over only the past several decades. Related technical advances in this field have permitted propagation through artificial insemination and/or embryo transfer using fresh or frozen‐thawed gametic or embryonic material. More recent studies in genetic engineering and embryo micromanipulation have generated additional potential for improved reproductive efficiency in the farm‐animal industry. Although these procedures provide incentive for solving management problems and improving the endangered status of many zoological species, achieving these objectives will be neither simple nor immediate. Major obstacles to confront include the poor image of research, unavailability of research stocks, lack of financial support, scarcity of trained personnel, and the idea that new reproductive techniques offer a “quick fix” to the problem of inadequate reproduction in an endangered species. Zoological researchers should now concentrate on establishing basic reproductive relationships in species of interest. Comparative studies in domesticated animals will accelerate progress. The immediate goal should be the production of sound scientific data of publishable quality. Only then can artificial propagation be considered as a viable alternative to preserving wildlife species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-372
Number of pages10
JournalZoo Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • cryopreservation
  • embryo transfer
  • hormones
  • insemination
  • physiology
  • reproduction
  • semen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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