Zoo charity & cryopreservation biobank join forces to fight extinction
Photo (c) Chester Zoo, 2023.
Nature’s SAFE, a living biobank to preserve the cells of endangered species has joined with The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums to save species from extinction
BIAZA is the association body for some of the most powerful conservation organisations including Chester Zoo and the Zoological Society of London, dedicated to saving some of the world’s most threatened species.
Nature’s SAFE’s Living Biobank cryo-preserves live tissues and cells indefinitely in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Celsius!
The Biobank already works with 11 BIAZA members and has samples from some of the world’s endangered species including green magpies, pied tamarins and the mountain chicken frog.
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA) and Nature’s SAFE, one of Europe’s first living biobank for endangered animals dedicated to halting the catastrophic decline in global biodiversity, have joined forces to save species. The two charities have signed a memorandum of understanding and will be working together through a free cryopreservation and live storage biobanking service to BIAZA zoos. This means the cells of endangered species including monkeys, tigers and elephants might be safely cryopreserved to be used by scientists working to conserve these species. Nature’s SAFE cryopreserves live tissues and cells indefinitely in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Celsius!
BIAZA is a registered charity representing the best zoos, and aquariums in the UK and Ireland. Over 120 organisations can proudly display their BIAZA membership badges, which signals their commitment to elevating conservation science, natural history, environmental education and animal welfare. Its members care for some of the most endangered species in the world from orangutans to tree snails.
Nature’s SAFE, a registered charity has a mission to Save Animals From Extinction, by collecting, indefinitely storing and regenerating reproductive cells and cell lines from endangered animal species. This is achieved by harnessing regeneration and reproductive technologies. Nature’s SAFE’s bank of live reproductive cells, tissues, and skin can subsequently be used to facilitate species restoration. Nature’s SAFE has currently cryopreserved multiple cell types from 161 animal species including the critically endangered mountain chicken frog, Javan green magpie and pied tamarin.
“This agreement with BIAZA is an extremely important step forward for us. We are building a unique Network of Expertise to enable cutting-edge reproductive and cryopreservation science to be delivered to endangered animal breeding programmes,” said Dr Rhiannon Bolton, Co-founder and Biobank Lead at Nature’s SAFE. “It is our intention to offer a free cryopreservation and live storage biobanking service to BIAZA zoos to further our aim of Saving Animals From Extinction.”
Dr Jo Judge, the CEO of BIAZA said: “I’m incredibly pleased to be working alongside such dedicated and innovative conservation organisations as Nature’s SAFE. We are in an extinction crisis. We are losing nature at a staggering rate. We must be doing all we can to conserve the natural world on which we all rely.”
More information about BIAZA can be found at https://biaza.org.uk/our-association. Nature’s SAFE is a charity whose work is supported entirely by donations – details of the charity and how to donate to this important work can be found at https://www.natures-safe.com/