Journal article

Genetic Approaches Refine Ex Situ Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) Conservation

Anders Goncalves da Silva, Danielle R Lalonde, Viviana Quse, Alan Shoemaker, Michael A Russello

Journal of Heredity | OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC | Published : 2010


Ex situ conservation management remains an important tool in the face of continued habitat loss and global environmental change. Here, we use microsatellite marker variation to evaluate conventional assumptions of pedigree-based ex situ population management and directly inform a captive lowland tapir breeding program within a range country. We found relatively high levels of genetic variation (N(total) = 41; mean H(E) = 0.67 across 10 variable loci) and little evidence for relatedness among founder individuals (N(founders) = 10; mean relatedness = -0.05). Seven of 29 putative parent-offspring relationships were excluded by parentage analysis based on allele sharing, and we identified 2 indi..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Copenhagen Zoo to A.G.S.; Martha Piper Research Award to M.R.; Canadian Foundation for Innovation to M.R.We would specifically like to thank Bengt Holst and Michael Pidwirny for their support of this work, and the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group for providing the forums that allowed this project to be conceived. An anonymous reviewer provided constructive comments that improved the manuscript. Samples were generously provided by the Argentinean Zoos belonging to the Tapir ex situ Group from Argentina. We would also like to thank Gustavo Gachen for his help with the anesthesia during sampling. Samples were exported under CITES permit 030410 and imported under Canadian Food Inspection Agency permit A-2008-00872-6.