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Goodrowe, K.L.; Walker, S.L.; Ryckman, D.P.; Mastromonaco, G.F.; Hay, M.A.; Bateman, H.L.; Wadell, W.T.
Piecing together the puzzle of carnivore reproduction
2000  Animal Reproduction Science (60-61): 389-403

Recent advances in feline and canine reproductive studies demonstrate how methodically piecing this information together is beginning to reap rewards for wildlife conservation programs. Non-invasive endocrinology can be used to monitor female reproductive function, time con-specific introductions or AI, and diagnose pregnancy. Sperm morphology characteristics and cell membrane function may be genetically inherited and differ between genetically diverse and inbred speciesrpopulations in felids. It is not clear if the same is true for the endangered red wolf. While standards exist for freezing feline and canine sperm, new information using fluorescent staining and zona penetration assays ZPA indicates that significant damage can occur during pre-freeze cooling, and may also be related to a species' genetic diversity. Posthumous gamete salvage from genetically valuable animals not only provides a means to study sperm and oocyte physiology but also to assist with genetic management of populations. Using the knowledge gained, IVM/IVF and ICSI have been successful in the domestic cat and AI has resulted in offspring in numerous non-domestic felids. However, understanding the processes of IVM/IVF is still not well understood in canids. New information reveals that sperm and the cumulus cells may be integral to oocyte maturation and that canine epididymal sperm are not capable of undergoing fertilization. The acquisition of knowledge and application of biotechnologies lags behind for non-domestic canid conservation programs

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