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 1985–1990, during 1991–1996 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.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2001
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