ABSTRACT: The demogenetic structure of the Amiata donkey, an endangered breed from Central Italy, was investigated using information from pedigrees. Genealogical data of 602 donkeys reared in Tuscany were recorded in a database and analysed by the computer package ENDOG. Population size increased from 89 subjects in 1995 to 503 (129 males and 374 females) in 2005. Animals were distributed among 152 herds, but the effective number of herds was 21, suggesting that a small number of herds provided stallions for the entire breed. The maximum number of traced generation was 4, the mean maximum generation was 1.14, the mean com- plete generation was 0.53, and the mean equivalent generation was 0.78. The average relatedness coeffi- cient (AR) in the 503 alive animals was 0.94% while the mean F was 0.29% so the effective population size was 172.41. Among 24 animals with a 4-generation history, 3 (12.5%) were 25% inbred. Although the incompleteness of genealogical information did not permit accurate inference of the current values of popu- lation genetic parameters, the present work represents a first step towards an efficient management of the breed.
Italian Journal of Animal Science. 01/2010;