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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Captive breeding reduces brain volume in waterfowl (Anseriformes)

Published source details

Guay P.J. & Iwaniuk A.N. (2008) Captive breeding reduces brain volume in waterfowl (Anseriformes). The Condor, 110, 276-284


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Can captive breeding have deleterious effects on individual fitness? Bird Conservation

A replicated study of brain volume in 21 species of wildfowl from museum collections (Guay & Iwaniuk 2008) found that brain volume was lower in captive populations for 16 of the species, with an average decrease of 4.7% (range of 1-33%). Relative brain volume (brain volume in relation to other body measurements) was also lower in captive populations for 20 of the species, with an average reduction of 7.7% (range of 2-30%). A total of 268 skeletons were examined, at least one member of each sex was examined for each species. The effect of these decreases on behaviour, survival or reproduction is not known.