To preserve genetic variability and minimize genetic subdivision among captive Macaca mulatta at each of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored regional research colonies, the genetic structure of each colony must be characterized. To compare population genetic and demographic parameters across colonies and generations, one standard panel of highly informative genetic markers is required. We assembled a core marker set of four multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) panels comprising 15 autosomal short tandem repeat (STR) loci with high information content selected from existing panels of well-characterized markers that are currently used for parentage assessment and genetic management of rhesus macaques. We then assessed the effectiveness of these loci for providing high probabilities of individual identification and parentage resolution, and for estimating population genetic parameters that are useful for genetic management. Am. J. Primatol. 68:73–95, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.