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Genetic Variability and Population Differentiation in Captive Baird's Tapirs
 

Summary: Genetic Variability and Population
Differentiation in Captive Baird's Tapirs
(Tapirus bairdii)
James E. Norton and Mary V. Ashleyn
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
The objectives of this study were to assess the level of genetic variability and
population differentiation within captive populations of an endangered large
mammal, Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii). We genotyped 37 captive animals from
North American (NA) and Central American (CA) zoos and conservation
ranches using six polymorphic microsatellite loci. Standard indices of genetic
variability (allelic richness and diversity, and heterozygosity) were estimated and
compared between captive populations, and between captive and wild population
samples. In addition, we evaluated levels of population differentiation using Weir
and Cockerham's version of Wright's F-statistics. The results indicate that the
NA and CA captive populations of Baird's tapirs have retained levels of genetic
variability similar to that measured in a wild population. However, inbreeding
coefficients estimated from the molecular data indicate that the CA captive
population is at increased risk of losing genetic variability due to inbreeding.
Despite this, estimated levels of population differentiation indicate limited
divergence of the CA captive population from the wild population. Careful

  

Source: Ashley, Mary V. - Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology