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      Metapopulation management of an Endangered species with limited genetic diversity in the presence of disease: the Tasmanian devil Sarcophilus harrisii

      1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 2
      International Zoo Yearbook
      Wiley

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          Developing the science of reintroduction biology.

          With recent increases in the numbers of species reintroduction projects and reintroduction-related publications, there is now a recognizable field of reintroduction biology. Nevertheless, research thus far has been fragmented and ad hoc, rather than an organized attempt to gain reliable knowledge to improve reintroduction success. We reviewed 454 recent (1990-2005) peer-reviewed papers dealing with wildlife reintroductions from 101 journals. Most research has been retrospective, either opportunistic evaluations of techniques or general project summaries, and most inference is gained from post hoc interpretation of monitoring results on a species-by-species basis. Documentation of reintroduction outcomes has improved, however, and the derivation of more general principles via meta-analyses is expected to increase. The fragmentation of the reintroduction literature remains an obstacle. There is scope to improve reintroduction biology by greater application of the hypothetico-deductive method, particularly through the use of modeling approaches and well-designed experiments. Examples of fruitful approaches in reintroduction research include experimental studies to improve outcomes from the release of captive-bred animals, use of simulation modeling to identify factors affecting the viability of reintroduced populations, and the application of spatially explicit models to plan for and evaluate reintroductions. We recommend that researchers contemplating future reintroductions carefully determine a priori the specific goals, overall ecological purpose, and inherent technical and biological limitations of a given reintroduction and that evaluation processes incorporate both experimental and modeling approaches. We suggest that the best progress will be made when multidisciplinary teams of resource managers and scientists work in close collaboration and when results from comparative analyses, experiments, and modeling are combined within and among studies.
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            Metapopulation dynamics: brief history and conceptual domain

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              Genetic adaptation to captivity in species conservation programs.

              As wild environments are often inhospitable, many species have to be captive-bred to save them from extinction. In captivity, species adapt genetically to the captive environment and these genetic adaptations are overwhelmingly deleterious when populations are returned to wild environments. I review empirical evidence on (i) the genetic basis of adaptive changes in captivity, (ii) factors affecting the extent of genetic adaptation to captivity, and (iii) means for minimizing its deleterious impacts. Genetic adaptation to captivity is primarily due to rare alleles that in the wild were deleterious and partially recessive. The extent of adaptation to captivity depends upon selection intensity, genetic diversity, effective population size and number of generation in captivity, as predicted by quantitative genetic theory. Minimizing generations in captivity provides a highly effective means for minimizing genetic adaptation to captivity, but is not a practical option for most animal species. Population fragmentation and crossing replicate captive populations provide practical means for minimizing the deleterious effects of genetic adaptation to captivity upon populations reintroduced into the wild. Surprisingly, equalization of family sizes reduces the rate of genetic adaptation, but not the deleterious impacts upon reintroduced populations. Genetic adaptation to captivity is expected to have major effects on reintroduction success for species that have spent many generations in captivity. This issue deserves a much higher priority than it is currently receiving.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                International Zoo Yearbook
                Int. Zoo Yb.
                Wiley
                00749664
                January 2017
                January 2017
                October 25 2016
                : 51
                : 1
                : 137-153
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Environmental and Life Sciences; University of Sydney; Sydney NSW 2006 Australia
                [2 ]Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia; Mosman NSW 2088 Australia
                [3 ]Save the Tasmanian Devil Program; DPIPWE; Hobart Tasmania 7001 Australia
                [4 ]Healesville Sanctuary; Healesville VIC 3777 Australia
                Article
                10.1111/izy.12144
                33431e04-1b6c-4a7f-a4da-6cded7fc5835
                © 2016

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

                http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/termsAndConditions

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