The Future of the Frozen Ark

Saving the DNA and the viable cells of the world's endangered animals

The work of the project becomes ever more urgent as predictions of loss of wild animal species across the globe accelerates. We believe there is a need to collect and store samples from at least 10,000 species by 2015. To achieve this we need urgently to expand the rate of sample collection and recruit the conservation community to join the museum, university, institute, zoo and aquaria consortium membership. This collaboration could be modelled in a similar way to that being developed with the world’s zoos and aquaria. Although there is no substitute for conserving an ecosystem and individual species in the wild or in a zoo, the history of animal conservation has shown that in spite of many successes around the world, the rate of loss of species is accelerating. Some habitats like the coral reefs, the icecaps and the majority of the rain forests are increasingly unlikely to be adequately conserved. One strategy is the concept of the Frozen Ark.

As the renowned biologist Edward O Wilson said 'We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity'.