Genetical effects in small populations

Samuel Zschokke , Bruno Baur, Sylvain Ursenbacher

Population genetics contributes important knowledge to the preservation of species. In endangered species, genetical management of captive populations and of natural populations in isolated habitats is necessary for the short term survival of the species (avoidance of inbreeding) and for the long term maintenance of the adaptability of the species (preservation of genetic diversity). In collaboration with Basel Zoo, we study population genetical aspects of the world wide captive breeding populations of the pygmy hippopotamus, the Indian rhinoceros (picture) and other mammal species, to form the basis for the breeding programs.

Keywords: captive breeding - inbreeding - outbreeding - genetic diversity - conservation management

Selected publications

Zschokke S, Armbruster GFJ, Ursenbacher S & Baur B (2011) — Genetic differences between the two remaining wild populations of the endangered Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) — Biological Conservation 144: 2702–2709

Krummenacher TS & Zschokke S (2007) — Inbreeding and outbreeding in African rhinoceros species — Pachyderm 42: 108–115

Zschokke S, Gautschi B & Baur B (2003) — Polymorphic microsatellite loci in the endangered Indian rhinoceros, Rhinoceros unicornis — Molecular Ecology Notes 3: 233–235

Zschokke S (2002) — Distorted sex ratio at birth in the captive pygmy hippopotamus, Hexaprotodon liberiensis — Journal of Mammalogy 83: 674–681

Zschokke S & Baur B (2002) — Inbreeding, outbreeding, infant growth, and size dimorphism in captive Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) — Canadian Journal of Zoology 80: 2014–2023


List of all publications related to this project


Indian rhinoceros

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