Conservation Genetics

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 325–330 | Cite as

Genetic assessment of captive elephant (Elephas maximus) populations in Thailand

  • Chatchote Thitaram
  • Chaleamchart Somgird
  • Sittidet Mahasawangkul
  • Taweepoke Angkavanich
  • Ronnachit Roongsri
  • Nikorn Thongtip
  • Ben Colenbrander
  • Frank G. van Steenbeek
  • Johannes A. Lenstra
Short Communication

Abstract

The genetic diversity and population structure of 136 captive Thai elephants (Elephas maximus) with known region of origin were investigated by analysis of 14 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci. We did not detect significant indications of inbreeding and only a low differentiation of elephants from different regions. This is probably explained by the combined effects of isolation by distance and exchange between different regions or between captive and wild elephant populations. Estimates of effective population sizes were in the range of 90–240 individuals, which emphasizes the necessity to guard against inbreeding as caused by the current use of a restricted number of breeding bulls.

Keywords

Asian elephant Genetic diversity Microsatellite Thailand 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chatchote Thitaram
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Chaleamchart Somgird
    • 1
    • 5
  • Sittidet Mahasawangkul
    • 3
  • Taweepoke Angkavanich
    • 3
    • 5
  • Ronnachit Roongsri
    • 4
  • Nikorn Thongtip
    • 6
    • 7
  • Ben Colenbrander
    • 2
  • Frank G. van Steenbeek
    • 2
  • Johannes A. Lenstra
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Veterinary MedicineChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand
  2. 2.Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Thai Elephant Conservation CenterNational Elephant Institute, Forest Industry OrganizationLampangThailand
  4. 4.Maesa Elephant CampChiang MaiThailand
  5. 5.Elephant Reintroduction FoundationBangkokThailand
  6. 6.Faculty of Veterinary MedicineKasetsart UniversityNakhon PathomThailand
  7. 7.Center for Agricultural BiotechnologyKasetsart UniversityNakhon PathomThailand

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