Implementing artificial insemination as an effective tool for ex situ conservation of endangered avian species

  • Published source details Blanco J.M., Wildt D.E., Holfe U., Voelker W. & Donoghue A.M. (2009) Implementing artificial insemination as an effective tool for ex situ conservation of endangered avian species. Theriogenology, 71, 200-213.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use artificial insemination in captive breeding

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Use artificial insemination in captive breeding

    A review in 2009 (Blanco et al. 2009) of the challenges of artificial insemination argued that it has the potential to be an important component of bird conservation and population restoration. Extracting good quality sperm is a major barrier, with the ‘abdominal massage technique’ being the most practical and widely applicable method (although it is prone to urine contamination).  Trained birds are more likely to accept insemination. The authors found that fertility is up to 400% higher when sperm are deposited into the vagina compared to the cloaca.  However, this constraint can be overcome by boosting sperm volume and insemination frequency (2-3 times/week), which has resulted in 80% fertility in crane species using cloacal insemination. Multiple, deep inseminations improves fertility and can help to overcome poor semen quality. Even when eggs are mostly fertile, artificial insemination can increase fertility by an additional 5-10%.


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