Reproductive physiology in the wild white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum): new insights for enhanced breeding success

Annemieke Catharina van der Goot

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    Abstract

    [Truncated] The African white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), having been rescued from extinction at the end of the 19th century, is one of the five remaining species of rhinoceros, along with the African black (Diceros bicornis), Indian (Rhinoceros unicornis), Javan (Rhinoceros sondaicus) and Sumatran (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) species. The population of C. simum faces an uncertain future, primarily because of the extremely high demand for its horn, which is being used illegally as an ingredient of traditional Asian medicine and in the manufacture of ceremonial curved daggers in the Middle East. Rhinoceros horn is also regarded as a status symbol for Chinese and Vietnamese elites. Breeding in captive and semi-captive environments could play a critical role in the survival of this conservation-dependent species, because captive populations can serve as genetic reservoirs and sources of animals for reintroduction into the wild. However, captive white rhinoceros females in captivity, in contrast with their wild counterparts, reproduce poorly and thus show a negative population growth rate (–3.5% pa for the entire captive population). For this reason, the sustainability of the captive population is in jeopardy. The causes of impaired reproduction are poorly understood. Endocrine monitoring of the ovarian activity in captive females has revealed acyclic periods and wide variation in cycle length, both believed to have a pathological origin. On the other hand, it is not known whether wild rhinoceros females show similar characteristics – we do not have a solid foundation of the normal reproductive biology of the species, and the studies to remedy this situation are a main aspect of this thesis.
    LanguageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    StateUnpublished - 2015

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    Rhinoceros
    animal reproduction
    breeding
    Diceros bicornis
    Middle East
    population growth
    manufacturing
    medicine
    extinction
    ingredients
    Ceratotherium simum
    Biological Sciences
    monitoring
    animals

    Cite this

    @phdthesis{54f14ea0f4c749aab179311c4c84b260,
    title = "Reproductive physiology in the wild white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum): new insights for enhanced breeding success",
    abstract = "[Truncated] The African white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), having been rescued from extinction at the end of the 19th century, is one of the five remaining species of rhinoceros, along with the African black (Diceros bicornis), Indian (Rhinoceros unicornis), Javan (Rhinoceros sondaicus) and Sumatran (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) species. The population of C. simum faces an uncertain future, primarily because of the extremely high demand for its horn, which is being used illegally as an ingredient of traditional Asian medicine and in the manufacture of ceremonial curved daggers in the Middle East. Rhinoceros horn is also regarded as a status symbol for Chinese and Vietnamese elites. Breeding in captive and semi-captive environments could play a critical role in the survival of this conservation-dependent species, because captive populations can serve as genetic reservoirs and sources of animals for reintroduction into the wild. However, captive white rhinoceros females in captivity, in contrast with their wild counterparts, reproduce poorly and thus show a negative population growth rate (–3.5{\%} pa for the entire captive population). For this reason, the sustainability of the captive population is in jeopardy. The causes of impaired reproduction are poorly understood. Endocrine monitoring of the ovarian activity in captive females has revealed acyclic periods and wide variation in cycle length, both believed to have a pathological origin. On the other hand, it is not known whether wild rhinoceros females show similar characteristics – we do not have a solid foundation of the normal reproductive biology of the species, and the studies to remedy this situation are a main aspect of this thesis.",
    keywords = "Progestagen, Ovarian cyclicity, Reproduction, Wild populations, Ceratotherium simum simum, Non-invasive hormone measurement",
    author = "{van der Goot}, {Annemieke Catharina}",
    year = "2015",
    language = "English",

    }

    Reproductive physiology in the wild white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum): new insights for enhanced breeding success. / van der Goot, Annemieke Catharina.

    2015.

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    TY - THES

    T1 - Reproductive physiology in the wild white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum): new insights for enhanced breeding success

    AU - van der Goot,Annemieke Catharina

    PY - 2015

    Y1 - 2015

    N2 - [Truncated] The African white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), having been rescued from extinction at the end of the 19th century, is one of the five remaining species of rhinoceros, along with the African black (Diceros bicornis), Indian (Rhinoceros unicornis), Javan (Rhinoceros sondaicus) and Sumatran (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) species. The population of C. simum faces an uncertain future, primarily because of the extremely high demand for its horn, which is being used illegally as an ingredient of traditional Asian medicine and in the manufacture of ceremonial curved daggers in the Middle East. Rhinoceros horn is also regarded as a status symbol for Chinese and Vietnamese elites. Breeding in captive and semi-captive environments could play a critical role in the survival of this conservation-dependent species, because captive populations can serve as genetic reservoirs and sources of animals for reintroduction into the wild. However, captive white rhinoceros females in captivity, in contrast with their wild counterparts, reproduce poorly and thus show a negative population growth rate (–3.5% pa for the entire captive population). For this reason, the sustainability of the captive population is in jeopardy. The causes of impaired reproduction are poorly understood. Endocrine monitoring of the ovarian activity in captive females has revealed acyclic periods and wide variation in cycle length, both believed to have a pathological origin. On the other hand, it is not known whether wild rhinoceros females show similar characteristics – we do not have a solid foundation of the normal reproductive biology of the species, and the studies to remedy this situation are a main aspect of this thesis.

    AB - [Truncated] The African white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), having been rescued from extinction at the end of the 19th century, is one of the five remaining species of rhinoceros, along with the African black (Diceros bicornis), Indian (Rhinoceros unicornis), Javan (Rhinoceros sondaicus) and Sumatran (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) species. The population of C. simum faces an uncertain future, primarily because of the extremely high demand for its horn, which is being used illegally as an ingredient of traditional Asian medicine and in the manufacture of ceremonial curved daggers in the Middle East. Rhinoceros horn is also regarded as a status symbol for Chinese and Vietnamese elites. Breeding in captive and semi-captive environments could play a critical role in the survival of this conservation-dependent species, because captive populations can serve as genetic reservoirs and sources of animals for reintroduction into the wild. However, captive white rhinoceros females in captivity, in contrast with their wild counterparts, reproduce poorly and thus show a negative population growth rate (–3.5% pa for the entire captive population). For this reason, the sustainability of the captive population is in jeopardy. The causes of impaired reproduction are poorly understood. Endocrine monitoring of the ovarian activity in captive females has revealed acyclic periods and wide variation in cycle length, both believed to have a pathological origin. On the other hand, it is not known whether wild rhinoceros females show similar characteristics – we do not have a solid foundation of the normal reproductive biology of the species, and the studies to remedy this situation are a main aspect of this thesis.

    KW - Progestagen

    KW - Ovarian cyclicity

    KW - Reproduction

    KW - Wild populations

    KW - Ceratotherium simum simum

    KW - Non-invasive hormone measurement

    M3 - Doctoral Thesis

    ER -