Freeze sperm or eggs for future use
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Captive breeding may result in loss of genetic variation, such that animals that were bred for release back into the wild have reduced fitness. Freezing, or ‘cryopreservation’, of sperm and eggs, allows them to be stored until they are needed. Gene banks can therefore be created for reptiles, ensuring that species’ genetic variation is preserved. It also means that the number of a particular species needed in captivity can be reduced and genes can be swapped between captive facilities. Fewer animals in captivity means that fewer retiles need to be taken from the wild. Freezing can damage cells and so a cryoprotectant, such as dimethyl sulphoxide or glycerol is usually required to protect the cells.