Population Genetics and Demography
The objective of a captive breeding program is to maintain demographically stable populations of sufficient size to preserve a high level of genetic diversity over a long period, while providing animals at sufficient rates to research assignment.
The objective for a genetic management plan in a captive research colony is to maintain sufficiently high genetic diversity and avoid inbreeding and selection. This is achieved by specifying which animals can breed, how often, and with whom they can breed. These decisions are based on the genetic importance of each individual, which in turn is based on the pedigree structure of the population. Maintenance of the colony pedigree is of paramount importance in determining the genetic importance of breeding animals.
The colony population and genetics division is an invaluable asset to the continued availability of animals appropriate for research protocols at the Washington National Primate Research Center.