Welcome to the frozen world for genetic extinction in a bottle.
All living things are now being saved in the lab for a future world.
In association with The British Association of Zoos and Aquaria, a Frozen Ark Expert Group has been formed in the UK for the terrestrial invertebrates.

The Frozen Ark has now established a consortium of twenty-two major zoos, aquaria, museums and research institutions in eight countries around the world. All of them share our aims.

What they Need ,

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

We need data and samples too!

We ask those around the world with stored collections of DNA, tissue, somatic or stem cells from endangered animals to send us details of their collections for inclusion in the Frozen Ark database. Those who send in such details will be given access to the Frozen Ark database. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any more information.


Most importantly, we need financial support. Please help us if you can. Click the ‘Please Donate’ button above for further information. Donors from the United States can gain the same tax benefits donating to the Frozen Ark as they can to US charities.

Do you hold any suitably preserved material?

We ask those around the world with collections of DNA, cell or tissue samples from endangered animals to send details for inclusion in the Frozen Ark database.

Collecting samples for the Frozen Ark

Expeditions, individuals, or organisations wishing to collect tissue and DNA samples for the Frozen Ark should contact in the first instance for advice about recommended methods of collecting and transporting samples. Summaries of recommended protocols are available by clicking HERE. Arrangements can be made to borrow equipment from the Natural History Museum in London and from other museums.

In zoos and aquaria, samples can be taken from animals when they are undergoing routine veterinary treatment and from animals that have very recently died. These samples could include male and female gametes, surplus animals such as tadpoles, tissues, feathers, hairs, body fluids, buccal smears, umbilical cord and placental tissue.

We are very keen that the collection of samples becomes a recognised ‘ex situ activity’ for the world’s zoos and aquaria, and becomes included as one of the conservation activities of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. We believe this would also be a major force for the successful distribution and use of gametes for conservation breeding programmes.

If you want to collaborate with us in any other way, please email

Most-wanted Species

The latest list of threatened species from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature shows the urgent need for sampling.

According to the IUCN there are about 40 species extinct in the wild but held in zoos. Some of them have been re-introduced to parts of their former ranges but their futures are insecure, and taking samples from them has a high priority.

If you have preserved tissue or DNA of an endangered species, or if you have access to these species, please contact the Frozen Ark at

We are in the process of getting the collection of samples for the FA as a recognised ‘ex situ activity’ of the world’s zoos and aquaria to be included as one of their ‘integrated conservation activities’ first laid out in WAZA’s 2005 Conservation Strategy document. We believe this association will become a major force in the successful collection, distribution and use of genetic material for zoo and aquaria conservation breeding programmes.

This involves developing the collection of samples from all native and captive species in the UK.

The Frozen Ark Project is a strategy to conserve the genetic resources of the world’s endangered species. It is the animal equivalent of the the ‘Millennium Seed Bank’ created by Kew Gardens to conserve the seeds of the world’s plants.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this life saving article, and follow up on the links for more.
Twitter @sunburst2014
“The journey is what brings us happiness not the destination.”
― It’s another beautiful day on the Bay Of Quinte – Z
-Tim O’Brien,Tomcat In Love: A Book that inspires.


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