Saving the Stick Insect
Up until 2001 scientists believed that the Lord Howe Island stick insect was extinct. While they now know that the insect does exist, it is still critically endangered. In an attempt to save this rare species, scientists have launched a captive breeding program. The professionals at Melbourne Zoo are the ones actually breeding the insect. To try and spread and increase the species 900 of the tiny eggs that have been bread are being transferred to zoos in Bristol, San Diego, and Toronto. To ensure the health and safety of both the stick insect eggs and the new ecosystems they are traveling to strict biosecurity measures were adhered to, including a new system of disinfecting the eggs. The eggs are washed in a mild bleach solution before being rinsed in sterilized water and air dried. The eggs will also be carefully packed in sterilized sand in dispersed batches of 50 eggs. The cargo hold in which they will travel will also be climate controlled at temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees. Everything possible is being done to see the fruition of this rare species that was once considered extinct.
What do you think of the breeding of these rare insects?