U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Date of this Version



Published in Theriogenology 71 (2009) 166–175.


An overview of the present status of the use of artificial insemination (AI) in South American camelids and wild equids is offered. Technical aspects of semen collection, dilution and cryopreservation have limited the development and use of AI in camelid and equid species. To-date, efficiency is low but progress has been made and viable offspring have been produced through the use of AI in domestic South American camelids using both fresh and frozen semen. The origin, composition, and function of the viscous component of camelid seminal plasma remain a mystery and an obvious area for future research. A better understanding of the normal constituents of seminal plasma will enable the rational design of semen extenders suitable for camelids. Post-thaw sperm viability is very low, and studies are needed to address questions of optimal freezing and thawing procedures as well as the insemination dose. The basis for differences in reported pregnancy rates with sexed and frozen semen in domestic equids, and the ultimate success of AI in wild equids will require continued research into the ‘‘stallion effect’’, extenders and cryoprotectants, optimal volume and number of spermatozoa, temperatures during handling, processing an transport, and insemination techniques. In both camelids and equids, research on domestic species under controlled conditions provides and excellent opportunity to develop effective semen handling techniques for application in wild and endangered species of the respective families.