Data from: Does recognized genetic management in supportive breeding prevent genetic changes in life-history traits?
Chargé, Rémi et al. (2014), Data from: Does recognized genetic management in supportive breeding prevent genetic changes in life-history traits?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b5j25
Supportive breeding is one of the last resort conservation strategies to avoid species extinction. Management of captive populations is challenging because several harmful genetic processes need to be avoided. Several recommendations have been proposed to limit these deleterious effects, but empirical assessments of these strategies remain scarce. We investigated the outcome of a genetic management in a supportive breeding for the Houbara Bustard. At the phenotypic level, we found an increase over generations in the mean values of gamete production, body mass and courtship display rate. Using an animal model, we found that phenotypic changes reflected genetic changes as evidenced by an increase in breeding values for all traits. These changes resulted from selection acting on gamete production and to a lesser extent on courtship display. Selection decreased over years for female gametes, emphasizing the effort of managers to increase the contribution of poor breeders to offspring recruited in the captive breeding. Our results shed light on very fast genetic changes in an exemplary captive programme that follows worldwide used recommendations and emphasizes the need of more empirical evidence of the effects of genetic guidelines on the prevention of genetic changes in supportive breeding.