For non-human primates, approximately 60% of the species are endangered and 75 % of wild declined populations due to human activities in the last three decades.

Here we present a good example of multifaceted conservation throughout studbook management which could be used as a model for other ex-situ live-animal populations.

An ex-situ conservation program’s success and viability lie in the establishment and potential of a demographic and genetically healthy population. Consecutively, such a population may support reintroduction and reinforcement activities in the wild.

The white-naped mangabey (Cercocebus atys lunulatus) is a non-human primate endemic from West Africa (Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso) classified as ‘Endangered’ by The Red List of IUCN due to habitat fragmentation and bushmeat. Since 1994, genealogical information (ESB, European Studbook) has been collected from different European zoos that constituted this primate species’ largest captive population. White-naped mangabey is also involved in an in-situ conservation program, promoted by the West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA) in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire since 2010.

Natural habitat distribution of white-naped mangabeys

Based on pedigree or genealogical information analysis, a research group from the Department of Genetics of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences of Córdoba (Córdoba, Spain) have quantified the genetic diversity and demographic structure of this captive population, aiming to track the effectiveness of implemented conservation activities and establish selection and reproduction strategies for long-term population viability.

The results show that the white-naped mangabey captive population’s demographic structure has evolved positively, and species-specific reproductive and demographic parameters are conserved. Intensive management program has also made inbreeding and average relatedness minimising and thus reaching a high degree of genetic diversity despite the existing fragmented populations, as occurs in wild ones.

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Chimpancés estado poblacional, biología, ecología y diversidad genética

Chimpancés estado poblacional, biología, ecología y diversidad genética

Humanos y chimpancés comparten aproximadamente el 98 % del código genético. Estos primates tan cercanos al humano se incluyen actualmente en la categoría “En Peligro” debido fundamentalmente a la destrucción y fragmentación de sus hábitats naturales, la caza para consumo humano, el tráfico ilícito de animales y/o productos derivados y el carácter emergente de patógenos potencialmente zoonóticos.