Genetic Rescue Foundation is a small but passionate non-profit dedicated to halting and reversing extinction in New Zealand. Our portfolio of projects are each part of a comprehensive programme to develop powerful artificial breeding technology and tools for returning lost genetic diversity. Without this technology many endangered species WILL go extinct even WITH massive intervention efforts. At the moment, conservationists are struggling against an endless tide of species tipping to the brink and desperately need game-changing weapons in their arsenal. The fact is that organisations are often motivated by stopping something changing rather than crazy blue-skies thinking. That is why we’re unique. We’ve dared to dream of preventing further extinctions and reversing any we can. In collaboration with a passionate and world-leading network of scientists like ourselves we have a real and achievable plan for making this dream a reality.
Each of the species we are working with possess unique and highly valuable attributes in the fight against extinction. Together our projects form a comprehensive programme which will enable us to develop For example, koreke are extinct so not subject to CITIES or other restrictions which can slow international research collaborations. In addition, their close relative, the Japanese quail, is one of the most studied species in science and readily kept in captivity. One disadvantage with a small bird is size and the limitations this places on being applicable to larger species. Moa overcome this while still possessing a common relative which can provide donor eggs and genetic comparison. With critically endangered species such as kakapo we can’t risk living birds so any research has most of the same constraints as for extinct species but also additional limitations. By developing technology for “ideal” extinct species we overcome these challenges and can immediately apply valuable new technology to endangered species.
But we don't stop there. It is our view that science belongs to the people. We are passionate about involving volunteers, sharing our knowledge with kids, community groups and iwi and making all our findings freely available to conservationists on the ground. After all, there's no point if we don't actually stop extinction! If this is something you are passionate about and would like to be part of drop us a line! We'd love to hear from you.