In order to ensure sustainability the commercial ranching of Cape buffalo in South Africa requires strategies aimed at addressing both conservation and production priorities. Breeding and management practices are generally characterised by anthropological interventions, which may affect the population dynamics and subsequently vital genetic parameters such as level of genetic variation and effective population size, both of which are vital when devising management strategies for ranched populations. The ranching industry is also moving towards increasing production efficiency by improving traits of economic and biological importance. This requires scientifically sound practices for the recording of performance traits. Currently, however the industry lacks phenotypic, genotypic and pedigree data which form the basis for estimating the genetic merit of an animal regarding a particular trait. The suitability of DNA markers for complementing existing strategies associated with ranching of wild African buffalo, is collated in this review.

Ben Greyling, Bettine van Vuuren, Pim van Hooft, Azwihangwisi A Maiwashe

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Selection using molecular information (Posters), , 453, 2014
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