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Population viability analysis on domestic horse breeds (Equus caballus)

Thirstrup, J. P.; Bach, Lars LU ; Loeschcke, V. and Pertoldi, C. (2009) In Journal of Animal Science 87(11). p.3525-3535
Abstract
In this study, we performed a population viability analysis on 3 domestic horse breeds (Equus caballus) of Danish origin, namely, the Frederiksborg, the Knabstrupper, and the Jutland breeds. Because of their small population sizes, these breeds are considered endangered. The Vortex software simulation package was used for the population viability analysis. First, we investigated the future viability of these breeds based on present demographic and environmental parameters. Second, a sensitivity analysis revealed the most important variables for the viability of these breeds. Third, we examined management scenarios in which one of the studbooks was closed. According to the Vortex analysis, 2 of the breeds (Knabstrupper and Jutland) will... (More)
In this study, we performed a population viability analysis on 3 domestic horse breeds (Equus caballus) of Danish origin, namely, the Frederiksborg, the Knabstrupper, and the Jutland breeds. Because of their small population sizes, these breeds are considered endangered. The Vortex software simulation package was used for the population viability analysis. First, we investigated the future viability of these breeds based on present demographic and environmental parameters. Second, a sensitivity analysis revealed the most important variables for the viability of these breeds. Third, we examined management scenarios in which one of the studbooks was closed. According to the Vortex analysis, 2 of the breeds (Knabstrupper and Jutland) will persist for the next 200 yr, whereas the smaller breed (Frederiksborg) could become extinct within 40 yr. The sensitivity analyses indicated that the variables concerning reproduction of the mares had the greatest impact, with the number of mares actively breeding being the most influential on the population forecasts. The results suggest that closing the Knabstrupper studbooks can be done only if increasing the number of mares actively breeding counteracts the loss of genetic variation attributable to such a management strategy. It is recommended, based on these results, that the number of Frederiksborg and Knabstrupper mares actively breeding must be increased to approximately 30% in the 2 breeds that are presently using only 13%, while leaving the third (Frederiksborg) at its present 30% level. Monitoring of the breeds in the future, however, may be exploited to adjust the breeding strategies. We suggest that the large amount of data required by Vortex makes it very useful for analyzing domestic animals because of the comprehensive data material often available. The results of this analysis accord with other studies on the Prezwalski horse, indicating robustness in the parameter sensitivity for horses. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
population viability analysis, breeding simulation, management, sensitivity analysis
in
Journal of Animal Science
volume
87
issue
11
pages
3525 - 3535
publisher
American Society of Animal Science
external identifiers
  • wos:000270921900011
  • scopus:70350259940
ISSN
1525-3163
DOI
10.2527/jas.2008-1760
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e39924f4-acde-414f-8932-5820ebc8a1e9 (old id 1506327)
date added to LUP
2009-11-23 15:35:54
date last changed
2017-07-23 03:38:46
@article{e39924f4-acde-414f-8932-5820ebc8a1e9,
  abstract     = {In this study, we performed a population viability analysis on 3 domestic horse breeds (Equus caballus) of Danish origin, namely, the Frederiksborg, the Knabstrupper, and the Jutland breeds. Because of their small population sizes, these breeds are considered endangered. The Vortex software simulation package was used for the population viability analysis. First, we investigated the future viability of these breeds based on present demographic and environmental parameters. Second, a sensitivity analysis revealed the most important variables for the viability of these breeds. Third, we examined management scenarios in which one of the studbooks was closed. According to the Vortex analysis, 2 of the breeds (Knabstrupper and Jutland) will persist for the next 200 yr, whereas the smaller breed (Frederiksborg) could become extinct within 40 yr. The sensitivity analyses indicated that the variables concerning reproduction of the mares had the greatest impact, with the number of mares actively breeding being the most influential on the population forecasts. The results suggest that closing the Knabstrupper studbooks can be done only if increasing the number of mares actively breeding counteracts the loss of genetic variation attributable to such a management strategy. It is recommended, based on these results, that the number of Frederiksborg and Knabstrupper mares actively breeding must be increased to approximately 30% in the 2 breeds that are presently using only 13%, while leaving the third (Frederiksborg) at its present 30% level. Monitoring of the breeds in the future, however, may be exploited to adjust the breeding strategies. We suggest that the large amount of data required by Vortex makes it very useful for analyzing domestic animals because of the comprehensive data material often available. The results of this analysis accord with other studies on the Prezwalski horse, indicating robustness in the parameter sensitivity for horses.},
  author       = {Thirstrup, J. P. and Bach, Lars and Loeschcke, V. and Pertoldi, C.},
  issn         = {1525-3163},
  keyword      = {population viability analysis,breeding simulation,management,sensitivity analysis},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {3525--3535},
  publisher    = {American Society of Animal Science},
  series       = {Journal of Animal Science},
  title        = {Population viability analysis on domestic horse breeds (Equus caballus)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.2527/jas.2008-1760},
  volume       = {87},
  year         = {2009},
}