The Frozen Ark

The mission of the Frozen Ark project is to collect, preserve and store the DNA and viable cells from animals in danger of extinction. The project will focus on the thousands of invertebrate and vertebrate animals that are expected to disappear within a few decades.

Samples will be taken from captive-breeding programmes, zoos and wild populations. The project will provide important knowledge and a precious source of genetic variation for conservation projects which would otherwise be lost.

The idea of the Frozen Ark Project was conceived in 2002 and it is being developed as a network of centres around the world.

The Consortium

The Frozen Ark Consortium is a group of institutions devoted to saving the DNA and viable cells of endangered species. It is being coordinated at the Frozen Ark Office in the School of Biology at The University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

Here the charity, the taxon strategy panels, the web site and the database are all being developed. It is the centre for communication between members of the Consortium, and for fund-raising.

Other members of the Consortium

  • Natural History Museum in London, UK
  • Zoological Society of London, UK
  • Animal Gene Storage Resource Centre at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia
  • Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology at Hyderabad, India
  • Centre for Reproduction of Endangered Species at The Zoological Society of San Diego in California, USA
  • Ambrose Monell Laboratory at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, USA
  • Wildlife Biological Resource Centre, Endangered Wildlife Trust at the National Zoo in Pretoria, South Africa
  • North of England Zoological Society at Chester, UK
  • Cryobiology Research Group, Institute of Research in the Applied Natural Sciences at the University of Bedfordshire, UK


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