Australia and New Guinea are home to unique and unusual fauna, the long term survival of which is under serious ongoing threat from climate change, habitat fragmentation and or disease. To protect against genetic restriction and ultimately, species extinction, we have been developing practical breeding technologies in a range of model wildlife species in order to facilitate captive management and propagation of their endangered relatives. The success of applying reproductive technology to wildlife species relies on a fundamental understanding of their reproductive anatomy, physiology and behaviour. This presentation will provide examples of how this process has been implemented and is currently being applied in the koala, the hairy-nosed wombat, the echidna, the flying fox and the crocodile. This research has been built upon a simple experimental framework based on the development of artificial insemination programs composed of three underpinning objectives (1) the collection, evaluation and preservation of semen, (2) an understanding of the most appropriate timing of insemination and (3) determining the most suitable site for insemination. In the end ‘We cannot conserve unless we comprehend’ (Prof Roger Short).