Captivity-induced metabolic programming in an endangered felid: implications for species conservation

Whitehouse-Tedd, K. ORCID: 0000-0003-0061-489X, Reeves, J., Smith, C. ORCID: 0000-0003-3285-0379 and Dierenfeld, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-7295-0740, 2020. Captivity-induced metabolic programming in an endangered felid: implications for species conservation. Nature Scientific Reports, 10: 3630. ISSN 2045-2322

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Reintroduction of captive-bred individuals into the wild is an important conservation activity. However, environmental conditions can influence developmental programming, potentially causing metabolic disorders in adults. These effects are investigated here for the first time in an endangered species. Using body weight and feed intake data for Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) (n=22), we compared the growth of captive versus wild born and/or reared individuals. Captive-born individuals gained weight as a function of calorie intake, unlike wild-born individuals. When compared with females reared in the wild, captive-reared females achieved a larger body size, without evidence of obesity. Captivity-associated changes to metabolic programming may compromise survival in the wild if an increased body size incurs a greater energy requirement. Large body size may also confer a competitive advantage over smaller, wild-born individuals, disrupting the social organisation of existing wild populations, and potentially inferring long term implications for the phenotypic composition of wild populations.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Nature Scientific Reports
Creators: Whitehouse-Tedd, K., Reeves, J., Smith, C. and Dierenfeld, E.
Publisher: Nature Research
Date: 27 February 2020
Volume: 10
ISSN: 2045-2322
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 18 Feb 2020 13:54
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2020 14:55

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