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The conservation role of captive African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus)

Summary: The conservation role of captive African
wild dogs (Lycaon pictus)
M.A.J. Frantzen, J.W.H. Ferguson *, M.S. de Villiers
Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, 0001 Pretoria, South Africa
Received 21 May 1999; received in revised form 3 January 2001; accepted 15 January 2001
Since 1954, several southern African institutions have established captive breeding programs to ensure the long-term survival of
the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). To aid this, a studbook was assembled to provide genetic and demographic information for
the southern African captive populations, comprising the largest existing regional population of captive African wild dogs. These
populations were investigated over three time frames: during 19851990, during 19911996 and populations alive in January 1997.
The captive-breeding programme is successful with a positive population growth, a significant lowering of inbreeding and mean
kinship and an increased genetic diversity. However, genetic variability levels appear lower and levels of inbreeding appear higher
compared with wild populations. In addition, there have been no successful long-term re-introductions into the southern African
wild using captive-bred dogs, mainly due to the lack of close collaboration between captive breeding and nature conservation
institutions. The ultimate success of a conservation programme not only depends on proper demographic and genetic management
of the captive population, but primarily on the successful collaboration of all scientific, captive breeding and conservation agencies
involved. # 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Demographic management; Genetic management; Reintroduction; Conservation
1. Introduction
The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) is endangered


Source: Altwegg, Res - Avian Demography Unit, Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology