Inbreeding effects in captive populations of ruffed lemurs

S. J. Noble, R. K. Chesser, O. A. Ryder

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4 Scopus citations


The two subspecies of ruffed lemurs (Vareica variegata variegata and Varecia variegata rubra) have been maintained in captivity since 1959 and all institutions which hold ruffed lemurs have contributed data to the Varecia International Studbook. Studbook data were used to analyze inbreeding effects on survival in both subspecies of Varecia. Several variables, including offspring's inbreeding coefficient, litter size, mother's inbreeding coefficient, and mother's age, were examined for significant associations with percent survivorship per litter. Percent survivorship per litter was negatively correlated to the offspring inbreeding coefficient in the black and white ruffed lemurs (p<0.001) but no significant association was found for red ruffed lemurs. Although emphasis has been put towards the status of the red ruffed lemurs due to the small founder size, the black and white ruffed lemurs should also be managed with care due to the lower tolerance to inbreeding in captivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-291
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Evolution
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1990


  • Inbreeding
  • genetic variation
  • lethal equivalents
  • primates


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