A case study of inbreeding and juvenile mortality in the population of Nile lechwe Kobus megaceros at Rome Zoo



The Nile lechwe Kobus megaceros population at Rome Zoo originates from 1.1 wild-caught animals which arrived in 1959. The ‘harem’ mating system, where the ♀♀ only mate with the dominant J, is typical of this species and because the population has not been genetically managed, the animals have been inbreeding continuously. This study examines the effects of inbreeding depression, particularly in relation to neonate mortality, on this population.