Detecting inbreeding depression is difficult in captive endangered species

Steven T. Kalinowski, Philip W. Hedrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


During the past two decades, pedigree analysis has documented inbreeding depression in many captive populations. This and subsequent research has led to a recognition that inbreeding depression is a potentially important determinate of small population fitness, in both captivity and the wild. Modern captive-breeding programmes now universally avoid inbreeding. We use simulation to investigate how much traditional pedigree analysis will reveal about the effect of inbreeding in such populations. We find that pedigrees typical of breeding programmes designed to avoid inbreeding have low statistical power to detect inbreeding depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-136
Number of pages6
JournalAnimal Conservation
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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