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Less can be more: considering seasonal differences of newborn mortality in breeding regimes


Müller, D W H; Müller, S I; Bingaman Lackey, L; Hammer, C; Hammer, S; Leus, K; Maier, M; Hatt, J M; Clauss, Marcus (2010). Less can be more: considering seasonal differences of newborn mortality in breeding regimes. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Diseases of Zoo and Wild Animals, Madrid, 12 May 2010 - 15 May 2010, 96-98.

Abstract

Although many ruminant species are seasonal breeders in the wild, they breed throughout the year in captivity. While seasonal differences in newborn mortality could be expected, breeding is usually not managed so that births in month of particularly high newborn mortality are prevented – maybe because the effect of an adapted breeding management on population development (reduced newborn mortality vs. prolonged interbirth interval) is unknown. We found distinct seasonal differences in newborn mortality of different gazelle species kept at 2 facilities (Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation and Zurich Zoo), and within the zoo meta-population of okapi (Okapia johnstoni). Using a model of the current zoo population of okapi, we demonstrate that seasonal breeding restrictions (preventing births from occurring in seasons of higher newborn mortality) would benefit both population growth and animal welfare.

Abstract

Although many ruminant species are seasonal breeders in the wild, they breed throughout the year in captivity. While seasonal differences in newborn mortality could be expected, breeding is usually not managed so that births in month of particularly high newborn mortality are prevented – maybe because the effect of an adapted breeding management on population development (reduced newborn mortality vs. prolonged interbirth interval) is unknown. We found distinct seasonal differences in newborn mortality of different gazelle species kept at 2 facilities (Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation and Zurich Zoo), and within the zoo meta-population of okapi (Okapia johnstoni). Using a model of the current zoo population of okapi, we demonstrate that seasonal breeding restrictions (preventing births from occurring in seasons of higher newborn mortality) would benefit both population growth and animal welfare.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Event End Date:15 May 2010
Deposited On:13 Jul 2010 18:01
Last Modified:11 Aug 2017 18:25
Official URL:http://www.zoovet-conference.org

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