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Conservation Kordofan giraffes

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by vogelcommando, 2 Aug 2016.

  1. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  2. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately wild Kordofan giraffes can't be bring in the captive European population, wich is numbering about 60 giraffes (from Wiki), mostly in France.
    The reasons for import ban for Artiodactyla are veterinary, but exceptions should be made for such purposes like ex-situ conservation. They (veterinary official bodies, European Commision) fear from exotic, highly-contagious diseases, yet such diseases are still appearing although there is ban for import of Artiodactyla/Proboscidea from certain countries (like the current cases with Lumpy skin disease), like most African. Some islands can be used as quarantine stations, before import to the countries. It is sad when such reasons prevents future captive successes of certain species.
     
  3. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    I went trough studbook for giraffe, that Chlidonias provided: http://alouattasen.weebly.com/uploads/8/9/5/6/8956452/giraffestudbook2009-d6dc55d9.pdf , in the thread Masai giraffes in (American) zoos? History, founders, numbers, in search for Kordofan giraffes (G. c. antiquorum) founder history and here what I have found:

    First wild imports of Kordofan giraffes in Europe started with:
    3 Kordofan giraffes in 1834!
    Then, one in 1900,
    2 in 1909,
    2 in 1910,
    (one in 1931 but in Sidney, Australia),
    then 3 in 1947 (in Antwerp),
    one in 1949,
    (one in 1972 but in Beijing China, from Sudan),

    And I didn't find any else wild imports (data till 31 December 2009), but there are a lot of births.

    But then I have realize that actually, Kordofan giraffes in Europe were mistaken for West African giraffes, and that mean that most of the West African giraffes (G. c. peralta) listed in the studbook, were actualy Kordofan girafes. And find out that wild imports from Africa, in Europe, of G. c. peralta (that actually were Kordofan giraffes) were:

    one in 1904 (London)
    2 in 1925
    one in 1928 (Paris)
    one in 1929
    one in 1931
    (two in 1932 but in Tokyo)
    one in 1934 (Paris)
    2 in 1936 (Paris)
    one in 1937
    one in 1939
    one in 1945

    So last wild import in Europe ceased in 1949, and in world in 1972 (in Beijing, China).

    Thus it turns out that the current European captive population of Kordofan giraffes originates from about 21 founders (excluding other possible founders - 4 from Australia (1), Japan (2) and China (1)) (and excluding those in the very begining in 1834).
     
    Last edited: 3 Aug 2016
  4. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Islands with low number of cattles, sheep/goats, pigs, horses - in wich even if disease outbreak appear, that would not be very damaging to the agriculture sector (wich after all, in developed countries stands just about 1.8% of the total economy (GDP), yet more than half it is from plant production, forestry and fishery, not from farming terrestrial animals, and on such smaller Islands the eventual lost would be negligible). We should know also that almost all highly-contagious diseases affecting hoofed animals are not transmissible/or are very mild (theoreticaly infectible) to humans.

    Such Islands good candidate as quarantine stations (for wild imports of artiodactilids, perissodactilids, elephants) would be, some near Africa, like Canary Islands, Greek islands, Majorca (Spain), etc.

    How it sounds: 4 Kordofan giraffes are about to be captured from Cameroon, and will be shipped to Canary Islands where they will stay 60 days in quarantine, and then finally will be sent to continental Europe to participate in breeding programe for Kordofan giraffe, because the number of founder animals for this subspecies in captivity was relatively low (about 20).

    I hope so that there will be alternative to import ban for Artiodactyla/Perissodactyla/Proboscidea from some third countries. Britain (UK) would do this more easily now they are beeing exiting EU, if ever allows such alterantives :)
     
    Last edited: 4 Aug 2016
  5. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    The number of founder is much lower as the 20 you mention Nikola. Not every wild-caught animal becomes a founder because not every wild-caught animal will breed. And even the animals that did breed are not automaticly founders because founders are only those animals which have living descendants in the living population.
    So for example a very good breeding group of wild caught animals which is lost by a disease, a ( natural ) disaster or in an other way are no longer founders. If however before the lost animals were send to other collections and the animals in that collection survive at least makes the parents of these surviving animals founders.
     
  6. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Yeah sure vogelcommando. I should wrote if we assume that all have bred, wich is yes unlikely. Plus there are time-frames between different imports, and giraffes live aproximately 23 years, and their reproductive years are even shorter. If first were founders, their offsprings had have breŠµd with successive wild imports. Plus some maybe died before to breed (can be checked in the studbook). I should wrote maybe about 15 founders, or even less. I was optimistic in my estimation :)
    This should mean that the captive population (aproximately 60-70 Kordofans) have high inbreeding coeficient? Or it contains some hybrid genes from other subspecies? I have no idea, but some zoochatter may know this.
     
  7. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Here can be found demographic data for giraffes from different subspecies in Europe (and some other peripheral nations), data are from 2008:

    Total number of Kordofan giraffes: 68
    Angolan: 20
    Cape: 40
    Rotschild's: 308
    Hybrid: 193 (now should be less).
    I am surprised of number of reticulated giraffes - just 113 (I expected more, since on Wikipedia it's stated that about 450 of them are kept in zoos).

    From here (I have dissmised to provide the link yesterday) (EAZA antelope-giraffe TAG): http://eaza.portal.isis.org/activities/cp/yearbook20072008/41_Antelope_Giraffe_TAG.pdf
     
    Last edited: 5 Aug 2016
  8. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    The number of founders is 4.3 if I remember correctly, 1.2 from Antwerp Zoo and 3.1 form Paris Vincennes. These two bloodlines were kept separate until 25 years ago....
     
  9. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    That's very low number, this can mean that captive Kordofans are severely inbred? There must be some additional founders I think, otherwise the captive population would not be very viable (or such numerous - like 68 Kordofans in 2008? or I am wrong), unless it contains ''strange genes'' from other girafe subspecies.

    I have forgot to provide the link fromwhere I have found those demographic data, from here (EAZA antelope - giraffe TAG): http://eaza.portal.isis.org/activities/cp/yearbook20072008/41_Antelope_Giraffe_TAG.pdf
     
  10. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    I have gone through the complete studbook last year and the numbers won't be far of the 4.3 I mentioned based on memory. So yes the population is inbred, but so are many zoo populations. Inbreeding is not the same as being non-viable, "just" a higher risk of a population becoming non-viable. The Pere David deer is also doing quite fine after over 100 years with only 1.2 founders....

    The good news is that the Antwerp and Paris line were only mixed as recently as 25 years ago and the Paris line has his male founders at different times.
     
  11. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Thank you lintworm (first time I hear about Pere David deer). There are also other threads with posts about inbreeding and how some populations of certain species had recovered from very few founders, it is amazing, how genes ''rearrange'' to afford survival of the individual and in sucessive offsprings.
    It is sad that the rest Kordofan giraffes that were captured are not founders of the current captive population.
     
  12. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

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    I have often wondered why they can't bring in frozen semen from wild animals to add to the gene pool with AI? It could help with so many species that could have bottle necks with the gene pool.
     
  13. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    It would be very helpfull dean. But can you imagine, even semen from Artiodactilids is prohibited for import from third countries, because it can be infected with some infectious agents (particularly like retroviruses, arteriviruses, picornaviruses (like Foot and mouth disease virus)).
     
  14. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    In 2015, total number of Kordofans in Europe: at least 39.54 !
     
  15. DDcorvus

    DDcorvus Well-Known Member

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    Nice plan but legally this will not work. And if animal movements between the UK and the EU stay the same it will mean the UK will have to maintain the current veterinary legislation.