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Genetic principles and tools for wildlife management

8 January 2015

From Chapter 25 in Game Ranch Management, sixth edition

www.leopard.tvOver the past decade wildlife production in South Africa has grown into a significant industry with huge financial investments. Wildlife are no longer limited to wildlife reserves and national parks and are now being produced extensively in fenced enclosures and intensively in smaller enclosed areas of variable size. This poses risks for small gene pools and of ecological imbalances. At the same time, such wildlife production leads to human controlled selection. It is important that the modern wildlife producer take note of the basic principles of population genetics and the currently available DNA technology in the genetic management of any such operation. Good practice dictates that management of wildlife ranches and reserves must be based on several lines of information including genetic diversity of particular types of wildlife, the environment and natural conditions on the ranch or reserve. In this chapter some of the genetic principles are discussed that will assist in maintaining genetic diversity and preventing inbreeding, with some reference to the available DNA technology that can be applied in the genetic management of wildlife. Useful terminology and concepts relevant to the genetic management of wildlife are also given... (Become a subscriber for more)

The topics of discussion include:

  • Maintaining genetic diversity
    • Effective population size
    • Minimum social herd size
    • Minimum surface area
  • Hybridization
    • Hybridization of ecotypes
    • Genetic management of ecotypes
  • Qualitative and quantitative breeding principles
    • Qualitative inheritance
  • Biotechnology as a genetic management tool in wildlife
    • Reproductive biotechnology
    • DNA-based biotechnology
    • Bio-banking of biological material
    • Wildlife production and conservation
    • Genetics as a forensic tool in wildlife management
  • Useful genetic terminology

...Subscribe to read the whole chapter.



Du Toit, J G, E van Marle-Köster, J du P Bothma & B Jansen van Vuuren. In Print. In J du P Bothma & J G du Toit (reds), Game Ranch Management, sixth edition. Pretoria: Van Schaik.

article by Prof J du P Bothma


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