Ark-Biodiversity develops state-of-the-art genomic and information technology methods for the containment of the global illegal trade in protected and endangered organisms. The illegal animal trade is today the fourth largest criminal sector in the world and, together with climate change and industrial overexploitation of nature, one of the three main factors in global species extinction. The company’s technological quantum leap allows a global forgery-proof registration of all protected and endangered species, as well as the traceability of all transactions with protected organisms. The technology is based on a single genomic test applicable to all higher organisms (including all vertebrates, invertebrates, arthropods and plants), which can be carried out economically, on a massive scale and eventually even “point of care” e.g. at ports of exit and entry in international trade. A salient result of this test, it provides an address system for genetic data of literally all organisms – one that could eventually serve as the standard for a blockchain-based global backbone for the Enforcement of the Washington and Nagoya Accords.

Ark’s “Universal Fingerprint of Life” will become available for all living organisms some time in the first half of 2021. In the meantime, more specific tests will be made available in late 2020 for a number of highly traded organisms. Those tests will be based on the same technology and fully compatible with its future data-structures and without any changes to the actual marker systems.

Even today, we have switched our testing of all species of parrots to one single analysis, and since this test is being routinely employed since mid-last year, we can already ascertain the reliability of the technology as such. The second test being made available will be able to genotype with one single testing/marker system all ~40 species and sub-species of crocodiles, an offering that we expect to come online in the last quarter of 2020. Third, expected to be launched in the first half of 2021, a far more complex test will cover all turtles of the families testudinids, geoemydids, emydids and cheloniids, consolidating the genetic testing and data storage for more than half of all bred, poached and traded turtles, among those the vast majority of protected and threatened species. By the end of 2022 we expect to be able to have data-basis to offer genotyping tests for all species of snakes and probably all reptiles, shortly followed by testing for amphibians. Again, the fundamental technology remains that which will eventually cover literally every living being, i.e. forward complementarity is ensured and no breeder needs to worry that repeated testing might be necessary should a global standard test become the next state-of-the-art over the coming years.