Zoo Biol.: Extinction risk assessment for the species survival plan (SSP[R]) population of the Bali mynah (Leucopsar rothschildl).
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Risk assessment (Research)
Authors: Earnhardt, J.M.
Thompson, S.D.
Faust L.J.
Pub Date: 09/01/2009
Publication: Name: Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery Publisher: Association of Avian Veterinarians Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 Association of Avian Veterinarians ISSN: 1082-6742
Issue: Date: Sept, 2009 Source Volume: 23 Source Issue: 3
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Product: Product Code: 9912200 Venture Analysis
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 252006996
Full Text: The Bali mynah Species Survival Plan (SSP[R]), an Association of Zoos and Aquariums program, strives to maintain the genetic and demographic health of its population, avoid unplanned changes in size, and minimize the risk of population extinction. The SSP population meets current demographic and genetic objectives with a population size of 209 birds at 61 institutions and 96% genetic diversity (GD) retained from the source population. However, participating institutions have expressed concerns regarding space allocation, target population size (TPS), breeding restrictions, inbreeding depression, and harvest in relation to future population availability and viability. Based on these factors, we assess 5 questions with a quantitative risk assessment, specifically a population viability analysis (PVA) using ZooRisk software. Using an individual-based stochastic model, we project potential population changes under different conditions (eg, changes in TPS and genetic management) to identify the most effective management actions. Our projections indicate that under current management conditions, population decline and extinction are unlikely and that although GD will decline over 100 years the projected loss does not exceed levels acceptable to population managers (less than 90% GD retained). Model simulations indicate that the combination of 2 genetic management strategies (ie, priority breeding based on mean kinship and inbreeding avoidance) benefits the retention of GD and reduces the accumulation of inbreeding. The current TPS (250) is greater than necessary to minimize the risk of extinction for the SSP population but any reduction in TPS must be accompanied by continued application of genetic management. If carefully planned, birds can be harvested for transfer to Bali for a reintroduction program without jeopardizing the SSP population.

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