Behavioural and morphological variation between captive populations of red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) - possible implications for conservation
2005 (English)In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, Vol. 122, no 3, 431-439 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The escalating threats to ecosystems worldwide have lead to a need for efficient methods to breed animals in captivity and to prepare captive-born animals for release back to the wild. However, life in captivity may lead to modifications in the animal’s behaviour mainly by genetic changes, including behavioural adaptations such as reduced predator responses. Such modifications may seriously affect survival after a reintroduction. The present study was a first screening of behavioural and morphological variation between different captive populations in standardized test situations using red junglefowl as a model species. The birds were tested in three different test situations in order to measure anti-predatory behaviour, social behaviour and exploratory behaviour. The results of this study clearly show that there are behavioural differences between the captive populations which potentially can be crucial for the animals in a reintroduction situation. However, the extent to which these differences are due to genetic changes caused by small breeding populations or adaptations to the different captive environments is not yet known, although morphological differences found suggest that genetic variation may cause some of the behavioural differences as well. The differences found imply that life in captivity can affect an animal’s behaviour and even though the red junglefowl is merely used as a model here, this suggests that these aspects may be important to consider also in other species where reintroduction is a more central motive for keeping the animals in captivity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 122, no 3, 431-439 p.
Behaviour; Conservation; Captive breeding; Red junglefowl; Gallus gallus
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12648DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2004.09.004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-12648DiVA: diva2:16776