Conservationists in Brazil
are poised to try cloning eight animals that are under pressure, including jaguars and maned wolves, the newscientist website has reported.
Other conservation groups have welcomed the plan, but say the priority should always be to preserve species in the wild by minimizing hunting and maintaining habitats. Within a month, Embrapa hopes to begin cloning the maned wolf, which is classed as “Near Threatened” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of endangered species. About 13,000 remain across South America.
As well as jaguars and maned wolves, the researchers hope to clone black lion tamarins , bush dogs, coatis, collared anteaters, gray brocket deer and bison.
There are no plans to release cloned animals into the wild, says Embrapa’s Carlos Frederico Martins. Being clones, they would lack the genetic variability of wild populations.