How one student is taking lessons from dog reproduction to help save wolves, wild dogs, and foxes on the brink of extinction.
Jennifer Nagashima is passionate about saving endangered species. In her research at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University, the Ph.D. student is focused on improving assisted reproduction techniques that can help endangered canids (dog-like mammals) like wolves and wild dogs reproduce in captivity.
An early interest in endangered animals Nagashima discovered her interest in wildlife as a child. Watching an Animal Planet show on endangered tigers motivated her to do something to help endangered animals and she soon began volunteering at a zoo near her home in Palm Springs, California. She carried her interest in animals to Cornell, first as an undergraduate, and now as a graduate student.
Endangered canids struggling to reproduce Of the 36 species of wild canids in the world, seven are listed as threatened or endangered and two are near extinction. To help rebuild populations of these animals, zoos have made efforts to get captive wolves, foxes, and wild dogs to breed. However, the old fashioned way of making canid pups can fail for any number of reasons, and distant institutions often want to breed their animals together without putting the animals through the stress of travel or upsetting their social packs.