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25 April, 2023

First germplasm bank for cape penguins

Experts and veterinarians from Parques Reunidos (Zoo Aquarium de Madrid and Faunia), together with the Physiology and Technologies of Reproduction in Wild Species Group from INIA-CSIC have, after five years of study of aspects of reproductive biology and procedures for freezing sperm (cryopreservation) of the gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) and the black-footed African or Cape penguin (Spheniscus demersus), developed the first germplasm bank for the Cape penguin (an endangered species). Among other advantages, it provides a procedure for preserving sperm as an instrument for long-term monitoring of the effects of climate change and other environmental impacts derived from human action. The frozen sperm of the Cape penguin is kept with other collections of genetic material of endangered and extinct species and races, in the germplasm, embryo and somatic cell bank of the Department of Animal Reproduction of INIA-CSIC.