Abstract # 78:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


USING A PREDICTIVE GROWTH MODEL TO INFORM MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES OF A CAPTIVE PRIMATE COLONY

D. H. Gottlieb, D. Lawrence and K. Andrews
Oregon National Primate Research Center, 505 NW 185th Ave, Beaverton, Oregon 97006, USA
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     Managing a breeding colony of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) for biomedical research requires balancing animal production with use; the colony must supply sufficient animals to support institutional research needs, maintain enough breeding animals to remain self-sustainable, and yet must not grow at a rate that exceeds available housing space. To improve our ability to make informed colony management choices we developed a stochastic, discrete-time, and age-structured model of colony growth. The model was constructed in Mathematica using basic linear algebra, in which numeric vectors and matrices represent populations and their corresponding age-structured properties, such as fecundity, mortality, and “migratory” effects of harvest and import. Natural variation was modeled using a Monte-Carlo simulation. The goals of this model were to predict breeding colony growth in upcoming years, determine the availability of male and female monkeys of various ages for upcoming research projects, and determine the effect of various scenarios (e.g., collapse of a breeding group, increased demand of a specific age class for research) on breeding colony sustainability. In order to accurately predict colony growth, model parameters were determined using seven years of retrospective data on animal fecundity, death rates, group formation rates, and harvest rates. We demonstrate how the resulting model can predict detailed colony demographics under multiple theoretical scenarios, and, most importantly, inform management choices in order to maintain an ideal colony size.