Maximum longevity and juvenile mortality in zoo‐housed mangabeys

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Manon de Visser, Emile Prins, Mirte Bosse, Richard Crooijmans, Tjerk ter Meulen
Zoo Biology
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Little is known about the biology of grey-cheeked and black crested mangabeys (Lophocebus albigena and Lophocebus aterrimus, respectively). As these primates face threats in the wild, well-monitored zoo-housed populations with up to date registries are becoming increasingly valuable to acquire species knowledge and to support conservation efforts. We used international studbooks to extract demographic and genetic information on 519 mangabeys to investigate how life history and parent-related variables influence maximum longevity and juvenile mortality. Generalized linear mixed models, as well as survival analyses, were applied. Results showed that females lived significantly longer than males, which is not uncommon in primates. Furthermore, our results indicated that the maximum longevity is lower for individuals living in European zoos versus individuals from North American zoos, which may be due to a combination of environmental differences and potential founder effects. We also show that the maternal maximum longevity is positively related to the maximum longevity of the offspring, which may be explained by the inheritance of “good genes“. However, the age of the mother at the moment of birth was negatively related to the maximum longevity of the offspring, which contradicts literature that states that, in primates, more experienced and thus older mothers will raise their offspring better than less experienced mothers. Instead, it is more likely that an “optimal age range” exists for breeding mothers. Our study provides insights into the population biology of captive mangabeys and may be helpful for identifying future research priorities to optimize primate health and welfare directly ex situ, and indirectly in situ.


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