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Captive breeding programs. (Conservation vs. preservation revisited….). Purposes of captive breeding programs:. protection of threatened species ( captive maintenance) habitat is completely lost threats to extinction cannot be overcome duration of captivity has irrevocably altered species.

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captive breeding programs
Captive breeding programs

(Conservation vs. preservation revisited….)

purposes of captive breeding programs
Purposes of captive breeding programs:
  • protection of threatened species (captive maintenance)
    • habitat is completely lost
    • threats to extinction cannot be overcome
    • duration of captivity has irrevocably altered species
purposes of captive breeding programs1
Purposes of captive breeding programs:
  • conservation of threatened species
    • objective to restore wild populations (no wild individuals

left)

    • objective to supplement wild populations that have

declined or are threatened

slide4

maintain in permanent captivity

re-establish wild population

supplement wild population

minor major

consequences of genetic mismanagement

stages in a captive breeding program
Stages in a captive breeding program
  • decline of wild population, genetic consequences
  • choice of founder population
  • growing captive population
  • maintaining captive population
  • reintroducing individuals
  • managing reintroduced population
issues for captive propagation
Issues for captive propagation
  • source of founder population(s)
  • space requirements in captivity/space availability in zoos
  • courtship/mating behaviors
  • intrinsic rate of increase
  • isolation of sub-populations
  • availability of wild populations as sources of new variation
rules for captive propagation
Rules for captive propagation

Founding the population - minimize genetic and phenotypic change

  • collect random sample of founders
  • collect data on locality, habitat of origin
  • collect genetic data from founders
rules for captive propagation1
Rules for captive propagation

Maintenance of the population

  • maximize N and Ne (maximize sex ratio)
  • maximize generation time (minimize generations in captivity)
  • maintain equal family sizes

Lion: average family size 1.65

variance in family size 32.7

reduces effective popn. size to 8%

rules for captive propagation2
Rules for captive propagation

Maintenance of the population

golden lion tamarin - founder population 242 individuals

48 contributed to subsequent gene pool

most of offspring (2/3) from single pair

rules for captive propagation3
Rules for captive propagation
  • minimize loss of genetic variation
    • maximize N and Ne (maximize sex ratio)
    • maximize generation time
    • maintain equal family sizes
  • minimize behavioral changes
    • minimize duration of captivity
  • minimize inbreeding
    • conduct pedigree analysis/management
    • outcross population with new individuals
rules for captive propagation4
Rules for captive propagation
  • manage demographics
    • determine reasonable carrying capacity (note effect on other taxa)
    • achieve carrying capacity rapidly
    • stabilize population at carrying capacity
      • maintain representation of age classes
      • what to do with excess animals?
rules for captive propagation5
Rules for captive propagation

Species Survival Plans (SSPs) for zoo species

goal: preserve genetic variation – 90% of H over 100 years

  • list each individual in a studbook – sex, sire and dam, likely alternatives if uncertain parentage
  • acquire data: age-specific fecundity, mortality, lifetime reproductive success, inbreeding
  • equalize reproductive contributions of each individual
  • pair individuals of lowest mean kinship
  • work with other zoos to share genetic material

Limits to zoo taxa….

rules for captive propagation6
Rules for captive propagation

Use “50/500 rule”

    • 50 parents for single generation
    • Ne of 500 for long-term maintenance

Conduct periodic ‘genetic checking’

  • compare present population variability with that of founder/wild population(s)
problems with captive propagation
Problems with captive propagation

Deliberate (artificial) selection

  • for increased productivity – fecundity, growth, or both
  • for ‘better’ type or traits (color, size)
  • for tractability (handling, breeding season)
    • problems with linkage of undesirable traits
problems with captive propagation1
Problems with captive propagation

Deliberate (artificial) selection

  • to remove genetic diseases

Chondrodystrophy in California condor:

- lethal recessive trait – hatchlings die

- gene could be removed in one generation by removing 77 of 146 condors

- careful breeding program was implemented instead

problems with captive propagation2
Problems with captive propagation

Accidental selection

  • for increased productivity – fecundity, growth, or both
  • domestication – select for fitness under captive conditions
    • tends to homogenize differences among sub-populations
general post release problems
General post-release problems
  • lower fitness in wild
    • domestication – genetic and/or behavioral
    • loss of variation
  • increased fitness in wild
    • loss of wild populations through competition for mates, habitat – captive-bred may be healthier
    • different development stages
general post release problems1
General post-release problems
  • lower fitness in wild
  • increased fitness in wild
  • Lake trout (Foster 1984)
    • rapid early growth in hatchery
    • young age at sexual maturity
    • premature reproductive senescence
general post release problems2
General post-release problems
  • captive individuals may hybridize with wild indivs.
    • pollution of wild genome
    • loss of variation if lowered variance in captive stock
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