National Studbook Four Horned Antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis).
Hrsg.: Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun and Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi.TR.No2018/02.
Conclusions and Recommendations:
Four horned antelopes continue to face threats to their longterm survival in their natural habitats across their distribution range and are accordingly listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and in the Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of India. The threats faced by the species remain operational and the populations across their range are showing declining trend. Maintenance of demographically stable and genetically viable ex-situ populations is thus crucial for ensuring the continued survival of the species. The captive population in Indian zoos is characterized by a declining trend (λ = 0.0676). The population remains biased towards females with a limited number of proven breeders, though a large proportion belong to reproductively active age classes. It retains approximately 93% genetic diversity introduced by 16 founders. Values of population mean inbreeding and mean kinship indicate that specimens are unrelated to each other; however, the founder genome is poorly represented with the population containing genetic diversity of approximately only 8founder animals. Population simulations run using PMx software indicate that supplementation with one effective founder every two years and increasing the population growth rate to 1.0252and population size to 200 specimens in Indian institutions can ensure that the population remains viable over the next 100 years. The captive population of Four horned antelope in Indian zoos therefore requires intensive management efforts towards ensuring achievement of ex-situ conservation goals to address the following concerns:
- Additional housing facilities are requiredto ensure availability of adequate space for holding the additional number of specimens needed for maintaining a genetically viable and demographically stable population.
- The wild origin specimens that are currently present in the population should be assessed for relatedness using appropriate molecular genetics tools. The assessment so carried out should form the basis for deciding mate choice.
- Issues that limit optimum reproductive performance of the captive population viz. housing and husbandry practices and keeping of unpaired animals need to be addressed for ensuring effective population growth.