Inbreeding in captive Indian rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis

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Abstract

Since the 1950s the Indian rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis has bred successfully in captivity. An analysis of the international studbook has revealed a high incidence of inbreeding in some captive populations. This paper discusses the effects of inbreeding in relation to other factors, such as parity, birth weight and gestation length, and calls for the introduction of an international co-operative breeding programme to minimize inbreeding and to maintain genetic diversity within the captive population.

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