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Dr. J. Brün

Wildlife Population Ecology - Reproductive success, kinship and kinship selection in wild boar and european mufflon


The common assumption that wild boar sounders are composed exclusively of closely related individuals is based on the observation that male animals leave on maturity while females remain in the sounder.


Even if all individuals of a sounder are descendants of one founder female and its offspring, it is unlikely that all are descended from the same genetic father, though this may occur in rare cases. Much more likely, they are descendants of different fathers. Thus, after just a few generations, depending on the number of genetic fathers and the frequency of their occurrence, different lineages within a group of direct descendants will be established. How many males are involved in reproduction is as yet unknown, as their average reproductive success or the span of lifetime in which they participate in the reproduction process.





The question to which individual females or female groups contribute to the reproductive success and whether there is a relationship between kinship and reproductive success is still unanswered.


Microsatellite genotyping is a suitable method to determine the identity of an animal. They are widely used in animal breeding and successfully in various conservation projects. With the aid of suitable algorithms, parenthoods can be assigned from a large number of genotyped unknown individuals. These methods make it possible to analyze the kinship relationships of a population and to determine the reproductive success of individual animals.


Current work:

Microsatellite analyzes are used to determine the genetic identity of all animals in a hunting bag by tissue samples. Additional biometric data such as age, height, weight, gender, characteristics, and location of entry will be included as additional information.



The following questions are currently the focus of interest:

  • Which individuals contribute to reproduction?
  • Are there individual animals that contribute to the reproduction process in a special way (e.g. old boars or leading sows)?
  • What is the relationship between the degree of relationship and the reproduction success?
  • Are there any indications of preference or avoidance of mating relatives?
  • What influence does hunting have on the population?


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