#87 Night Snakehead, on loan from
The Laboratory Of Ichthyology, Tokyo
All images by the ICZ
The Ark Project
The Ark Project is an initiative by the Institute of Critical Zoologists, the Veterinary Acupuncture Center in Beijing, the Japan Laboratory of Endangered Species and the Biostatsis Institute in Fukuoka.
The project's mission is to help save endangered animals from extinction. It does this by extending the lifespan of the thousands of animals that are expected to disappear within the next few years.
The process used is called Acusis, which uses acupuncture to induce biostatsis in an animal for prolonged periods of hibernation. By applying needles on the animals' pressure points, Acusis introduces a state of torpor and decreased physiological activity in the creatures. The animals are kept at temperatures of 2 to -4 degrees in specially designed hibernators. In this state, animals survive at extremely low temperatures at a extremely low level of metabolism.
Endangered animals are chosen to undergo Acusis at their reproductive age. They are kept alive in a state of physiological dormancy for five years before they are revived again to reproduce with another revived animal. The animals reproduce for a maximum of one year (longer if gestation period requires) before Acusis is performed on them again.
One of the first successful experiments of Acusis is a rainbow trout, which is revived every 5 years to reproduce for a month. So far, 'Rainbow' has been revived twice and is due to be awaken again in 2013. Because the core of the research was based upon an earlier version of fish acupuncture, Acusis has also succeeded in allowing fishes to live up to 5 years out of water. The special hibernation tanks for fish species are kept extremely moist with a special forest stream recipe.
We have also successfully introduced this method of preservation on birds, snakes and bats. Acusis provides a more realistic and reliable ex-situ conservation method for animals, keeping in mind ex-situ conservation relies on the successful recreation and preservation of the habitat as a whole.
It is not the hope of the institute for a species to solely exist by Acusis in the future.
Note : The webcams are streamed live from the laboratory, please be patient while it loads.
The webcams are linked directly to several other websites which supports the project, the connection varies and depends on your connection speed. As much as we try to make these webcams accessible to everyone, we apologize if for any reason they do not appear to load in your browser.