Abstract # 122:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2012 02:45 PM-03:00 PM: Session 19 (3rd Floor All Space) Oral Presentation


J. Ely1, L. Williams3, C. Abee 2 and M. L. Lammey1
1Alamogordo Primate Facility, Bldg. 1303, POB 956, Holloman AFB, NM 88310, USA, 2Department of Veterinary Sciences, Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, 3Department of Veterinary Sciences, Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research
     Reliable demographic data on NIH-supported captive chimpanzee population is no longer systematically collected or analyzed by a central authority. The last demographic analysis of captive chimpanzees, published in 1995, examined a younger population (mean 15 yo) during a growth (breeding) phase. Today’s population is aged (mean=28 yr), with a large geriatric (30+ yr) segment. There are better life-tables on African chimpanzees than captive populations. Reliable demographic information is crucial to captive management, impacts veterinary medical practice and prevention, and is necessary to project future trends. We analyzed 2 captive populations (Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine, Alamogordo Primate Facility) and provide an update on their demographic status. Combined analysis yielded an intrinsic rate of increase of -0.036, indicating overall population decline. A forecast of population structure indicates that the population size will decline by 33% in the next 10 years. The proportion of geriatric animals will increase from 32% to 80%. Leading causes of mortality include cardiac-related lesions, renal disease, and cancer. Knowledge of the burden of disease allows rational allocation of finite veterinary resources to animals in high-risk categories. Extrapolations from current trends suggest overall population extinction in approximately 35 years. Continued monitoring of the changing demographics and morbidity profile of extant colonies can allow provision of veterinary care needed by increasingly geriatric chimpanzees, while allowing estimation of budgetary resources necessary for their life-time maintenance.