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Special session on dama gazelles : update on the dama gazelle cross-breeding experiment in Al Ain Zoo

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Presented during the 17h Annual Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group Meeting organized by the NGO Sahara Conservation Fund in Senegal, from 4 to 6 May 2017. The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) gathers every year about a hundred people who are interested in the field of Sahelo-Saharan species conservation.

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Special session on dama gazelles : update on the dama gazelle cross-breeding experiment in Al Ain Zoo

  1. 1. 17th Annual Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group Meeting 2 days of talks on biodiversity conservation in the Sahara and in the Sahel Special Session on Dama Gazelle : cross-breeding experiment,Al Ain Zoo Lisa BANFIELD et al., Unit Head Conservation Research - Al Ain Zoo May 4 – 6, 2017
  2. 2. Dama Gazelle Cross-Breeding Experiment at AlAin Zoo – Brief Update Mohammed Al Faqeer, Myyas Al Qarqas, Lisa Banfield &HelenSenn SSIG, Saint-Louis, Senegal - April2017
  3. 3. former range current wild populations ruficollisdamamhorr ü Background Source of mhorr stock Source of ruficollis stock 1 Senn et al (2014) • Captive populations are based on very few specimens from opposite ends of the range.
  4. 4. Background 2 Senn et al (2014). PLOSONE9(6). Splitting or Lumping?AConservation Dilemma Exemplified by the Critically Endangered DamaGazelle (Nanger dama) • Genetic analysis doesnot support the proposedsubspecies
  5. 5. Background 3 Chad Niger • Variation in pelage characteristics is seenwithin wild populations.
  6. 6. Background 4 ruficollisdamamhorr ConservationSignificance • Small population (c1500individuals) • Inbreeding Management Options: • Translocations • Reintroductions • Supplementation • Ex situ population management • Conservation management options will beincreased if we stop managing the proposed subspeciesseparately.
  7. 7. Cross Breeding Experiment 5 Senn et al (2014) • Al Ain Zoovolunteered to carry out across-breeding experiment to investigate reproductive isolation and phenotypic variation and fitness of anyoffspring.
  8. 8. 6 Cross Breeding Experiment Group1 Group2 Group 3 (control group) Group4 Group5 Group 6 (control group) Group Structur e 1.1 MM ♂ AA♀ 1.2 MM ♂ AA♀ 1.2 AA♂ AA♀ 1.2 AA♂ MM ♀ 1.2 AA♂ MM ♀ 1.2 MM ♂ MM ♀ Numberof offspring surviving Nil 1.1 0.1 2.1 1.1 2.0 1.1 3.2Reproductive isolation? Phase1 (2014-2016) ReproductiveIsolation • Thedama and mhorr subspeciesare not reproductively isolated. Offspring appear healthy with noabnormalities.
  9. 9. 7 Cross Breeding Experiment mhorr xaddra(male) Phase1 (2014-2016) PhenotypicVariation
  10. 10. 8 Cross Breeding Experiment mhorr xaddra(female) Phase1 (2014-2016) PhenotypicVariation
  11. 11. 9 Cross Breeding Experiment addra xmhorr (male) Phase1 (2014-2016) PhenotypicVariation
  12. 12. 10 Cross Breeding Experiment addra xmhorr (female) Phase1 (2014-2016) PhenotypicVariation
  13. 13. 11 Cross Breeding Experiment FemaleMale Phase1 (2014-2016) PhenotypicVariation ruficollisdamamhorr
  14. 14. 13 Cross Breeding Experiment Phase2 (2016 -) • Various breeding combinations have been created for theF2 generation.
  15. 15. 12 Cross Breeding Experiment Phase2 (2016 -) F2Cross-breeds: • addra-mhorr (m) xaddra-mhorr (f) • addra-mhorr (m) xmhorr-addra (f) • mhorr-addra (m) xmhorr-addra (f) • mhorr-addra (m) xaddra-mhorr (f) Group1 Group2 (originalgroup) Group3 Group4 (originalgroup) Group5 (originalgroup) Group6 Group Structur e 1.3 MA ♂ AM ♀ MM ♀ AA♀ 1.1 MM ♂ AA♀ 1.3 AM ♂ MA ♀ AA ♀ MM ♀ 1.1 AA♂ MM ♀ 1.2 AA♂ MM ♀ 1.2 AM ♂ AM ♀ AM♀ F2Back-crossing: • addra-addra (m) xaddra-mhorr (f) • addra-addra (m) xmhorr-addra (f) • mhorr-mhorr (m) xaddra-mhorr (f) • mhorr-mhorr (m) xmhorr-addra (f) • addra-mhorr (m) xaddra-addra (f) • addra-mhorr (m) xmhorr-mhorr (f) • mhorr-addra (m) xaddra-addra (f) • mhorr-addra (m) xmhorr-mhorr (f) • Couldnot create all of the possible combinations due to limited number of animals. Howevermore than half are covered. Thereare no offspring from these breeding groupsyet.
  16. 16. 14 Cross Breeding Experiment NextSteps • Completion of Phase1 by disbanding remaininggroupings. • Maintain Phase2 until offspring (F2)are produced. • Genetic analysis end of 2017. Concerns/Comments • When to stop! • What is the minimum data needed to provefitness? • Decision/recommendation to manageasone. Thankyou / Merci / ‫ارﻛش‬

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