Reproduction in the endangered African wild dog: basic physiology,reproductive suppression and possible benefits of artificial insemination

Van den Berghe, F., Paris, D.B.B.P., Van Soom, A., Rijsselaere, T., Van der Weyde, L., Bertschinger, H.J., and Paris, M.C.J. (2012) Reproduction in the endangered African wild dog: basic physiology,reproductive suppression and possible benefits of artificial insemination. Animal Reproduction Science, 133 (1-2). pp. 1-9.

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The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) is an endangered exotic canid with less than 5500 animals remaining in the wild. Despite numerous strategies to conserve this species, numbers of free-living animals are in decline. It is a highly social species with a complex pack structure: separate male and female dominant hierarchies with, typically, participation of subdominant adults in the rearing of the dominant breeding pairs’ pups. Basic reproductive knowledge is largely missing in this species, with only limited information available on the profile of reproductive hormones, based on non-invasive endocrine monitoring. The dominant or alpha male and female are reproductively active and the subdominants are generally reproductively suppressed. However, the occasional production of litters by subdominant females and evidence of multiple paternity within litters suggests that fertility of subordinates is not completely inhibited. In this respect, there are still considerable gaps in our knowledge about the mechanisms governing reproduction and reproductive suppression in African wild dogs, particularly the influence of dominance and pack structure on both male and female fertility. Given concerns over the long-term survival of this species, further research in this area is essential to provide valuable information for their captive breeding and conservation. Reproductive information can also be applied to the development of Assisted Reproductive Techniques for this species; the utility of which in African wild dog conservation is also discussed.

Item ID: 22516
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2232
Keywords: African wild dog, dominance, artificial insemination, seasonality, oestrous cycle, pregnancy
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2012 06:36
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060803 Animal Developmental and Reproductive Biology @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 25%
10 TECHNOLOGY > 1001 Agricultural Biotechnology > 100199 Agricultural Biotechnology not elsewhere classified @ 25%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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