CryoArks is a collaboration between Cardiff University, the University of Nottingham, the University of Edinburgh (Roslin Institute), the Natural History Museum (NHM), National Museums Scotland (NMS) and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS). Currently, Cardiff, Nottingham and the NHM are collaborating to enhance the capacity of the Frozen Ark Biobank. NMS is developing the Scottish hub for CryoArks and museum collections and RZSS is the UK node for the EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) Biobank, in addition to housing samples within the CryoArks initiative. The University of Edinburgh is working to create reference wildlife DNA forensic sample collections, and to develop separate, complementary capacity for livestock biobanking. Increasing extinction rates, at population, breed and species level, mean that samples are becoming more valuable in real time and their sustainable curation needs urgent attention.
Our Venn diagram highlights the focus and inter-relationship between animal biobanks operating in the UK. A key outcome of this collaboration will be the developing of the freely-available database where collections from CryoArks, Frozen Ark and the EAZA Biobank will be made discoverable and available to UK researchers and conservation practitioners.