An assessment of demographic parameters of African rhinoceros species (Diceros bicornis and Ceratotherium simum) and their significance to management in captivity

Abstract:

Captive-breeding has been identified as an integral part of the conservation of threatened species. The black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) as a species is currently listed by the IUCN as critically endangered (CR), while the white rhinoceros’s (Ceratotherium simum) current status is near-threatened (NT). Three African rhinoceros subspecies currently occur in captive populations in regional population management programmes, namely the South-central black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis minor), the Eastern black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli) and the Southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum). Concerns have been raised, however, that these populations are not self-sustainable. This study aims to analyze the demographic parameters that contribute to the growth rates of the global captive populations of African rhinoceros. The study sets out to determine if these global captive populations are currently self-sustaining, which demographic factors have the most influence on the population growth rates, and whether or not 50- and 100- year targets set for the captive African rhinoceros populations are attainable. Demographic data from 1 January 2010 until 31 December 2010 were analysed through population census, life table and age structure analyses. Two additional concerns, namely poor reproductive performance of the female F1 generation and male-biased birth sex ratios, were also assessed. The results indicate that the captive populations of D. b. minor and C. s. simum are not self-sustainable, with population growth rates (λ) of 0.98 and 0.99, respectively. Diceros bicornis michaeli is the only subspecies with a growing population, with a population growth rate of 1.02. Sensitivity analyses conclude that fecundity rates, and not mortality rates, are the limiting factor to population growth in all three subspecies. While lifetime reproductive success values for D. b. minor and C. s. simum captive-born females are far lower than those of the founder generation, several factors need further investigation to determine the true cause of this. Birth sex ratio analysis shows no significant difference from parity for both black rhinoceros subspecies, however, quadratic logit regression conducted on the white rhinoceros data indicated a statistically significant male-bias. In all three subspecies, no significant link was found between maternal age and the sex of the offspring. Overall, the results of this study show that the 50 year and 100 year targets set at the GCAP workshop in 1992 are achievable. However, D. b. minor will only be able to achieve the target population sizes with an increase in fecundity rate of around 170% or alternatively, additional supplementation from the wild. Recommendations for the future include a global study of breeding husbandry at an institutional level, and the formalisation of a Global Species Management plan for D. b. minor.
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APA

Tracy, R (2024). An assessment of demographic parameters of African rhinoceros species (Diceros bicornis and Ceratotherium simum) and their significance to management in captivity. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/an-assessment-of-demographic-parameters-of-african-rhinoceros-species-diceros-bicornis-and-ceratotherium-simum-and-their-significance-to-management-in-captivity

MLA 8th

Tracy, Rehse "An assessment of demographic parameters of African rhinoceros species (Diceros bicornis and Ceratotherium simum) and their significance to management in captivity" Afribary. Afribary, 04 May. 2024, https://afribary.com/works/an-assessment-of-demographic-parameters-of-african-rhinoceros-species-diceros-bicornis-and-ceratotherium-simum-and-their-significance-to-management-in-captivity. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

MLA7

Tracy, Rehse . "An assessment of demographic parameters of African rhinoceros species (Diceros bicornis and Ceratotherium simum) and their significance to management in captivity". Afribary, Afribary, 04 May. 2024. Web. 24 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/an-assessment-of-demographic-parameters-of-african-rhinoceros-species-diceros-bicornis-and-ceratotherium-simum-and-their-significance-to-management-in-captivity >.

Chicago

Tracy, Rehse . "An assessment of demographic parameters of African rhinoceros species (Diceros bicornis and Ceratotherium simum) and their significance to management in captivity" Afribary (2024). Accessed May 24, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/an-assessment-of-demographic-parameters-of-african-rhinoceros-species-diceros-bicornis-and-ceratotherium-simum-and-their-significance-to-management-in-captivity

Document Details
Rehse, Tracy Field: Zoology Type: Dissertation 164 PAGES (49714 WORDS) (pdf)