Many zoo-based animal populations are unsustainable. The logistics of bringing recommended pairs together may be one reason, but another not yet fully explored possibility is infertility. Thus, improving reproductive success and consequently, population sustainability, depends on identifying, treating and preferably preventing infertility.

This 1.5-day workshop brought together specialists in animal infertility to review currently available information, highlighting taxonomic differences in the causes of infertility and approaches to treatment and prevention.

Day 1 started with presentations by invited speakers to provide background information, followed by working groups, organized by taxon, for discussion of possible types of infertility in their managed species. (9AM-5PM, lunch provided)

Invited Specialists:

  • Dr. Tim Safranski, University of Missouri, Division of Animal Science, Extension, State Swine Breeding Specialist, focuses on genetics and reproductive management for swine producers, veterinarians, and extension agents.
  • Dr. Richard Linhart, Pfizer Animal Health, Beef Veterinary Operations, specializes in improving beef reproductive efficiency and previously served as consulting veterinarian to the Louisville Zoo
  • Dr. Bruce Christensen, University of California-Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, Population Health and Reproduction, specializes in reproduction of horses and dog and is an advisor to the AZA Wildlife Contraception Center.
  • Dr. Dalen Agnew, Michigan State University Veterinary School, Reproductive Health Surveillance Program, is the reproductive pathology advisor to the AZA Wildlife Contraception Center.
  • Dr. Linda Penfold, South-East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation, who specializes in diagnosing reproductive failure and endocrine monitoring in zoo-managed species.

On Day 2 working groups developed approaches tailored to each taxon, with the objective of formulating practical action plans, focusing particularly on methods for diagnosis and potential treatment of infertility. (8AM-Noon)