The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The sustainability of endangered species under intensive management: the case of the scimitarhorned oryx Oryx dammah

Gilbert, Tania (2011) The sustainability of endangered species under intensive management: the case of the scimitarhorned oryx Oryx dammah University of Southampton, Biological Sciences, Doctoral Thesis , 422pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


The world is facing an unprecedented loss of biodiversity caused by anthropogenic environmental change. Captive breeding and reintroduction can help mitigate the effects of biodiversity loss for some endangered species, but to accomplish this, captive populations need to be self-sustainable. Intensive population management aims to achieve sustainability by maximising the retention of genetic diversity, maintaining demographic stability, and reducing adaptation to captivity. Recent evaluations of captive populations have indicated that many are not meeting their genetic and demographic goals, and are not sustainable. Consequently, their contribution to biodiversity conservation is being undermined. This thesis aims to evaluate the sustainability of captive populations using the scimitarhorned oryx as a case study. The European scimitar-horned oryx population experiences many of the challenges encountered by other captive populations, specifically, poor data quality in the international studbook resulting in less effective population management; rapid loss of genetic variation; and economic fragmentation. This thesis presents a series of original studies that evaluate the sustainability of captive populations, examines the impact of poor quality data on population management, and tests the effects of population fragmentation. The results contribute knowledge to the management of small captive populations in general, and to the scimitar-horned oryx in particular. I propose solutions to some of the challenges faced by endangered species in captivity, and advocate a reorientation of the existing small population management paradigm. Finally, I challenge the international zoological community to fulfil its potential for biodiversity conservation, and sustainably manage the populations in its care.

PDF Tania_Gilbert_Doctoral_Thesis.pdf - Other
Download (8MB)

More information

Published date: 29 December 2011
Organisations: University of Southampton, Centre for Biological Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 341745
PURE UUID: 6bfe1335-363c-4fde-b344-4f5ad53394f2
ORCID for Charles Doncaster: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Oct 2012 15:35
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:32

Export record


Author: Tania Gilbert
Thesis advisor: Charles Doncaster ORCID iD

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.