The Tankwa Karoo National Park feral goat population: A unique genetic resource

Antoinette Kotze, J. Paul Grobler, Este van Marle-Köster, Tinus Jonker, Desire Dalton

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Abstract

The feral goats from Tankwa Karoo National Park in the Northern Cape, South Africa, constitute a
potentially unique goat population, which dates back to the early 1900s, but is now at risk of extinction. A
total of 66 feral goats from Tankwa Park and former Tankwa goats, now kept on a private farm were
genotyped, using eight microsatellite markers. The data were compared with genotypic data of selected
commercial breeds (Angora, Boer and Saanen dairy goats). Analysis of population structure using Bayesian
and frequency-based methods suggests some uniqueness in the Tankwa populations. This uniqueness may
reflect decades of random drift, but could also reflect alleles for adaptation to a harsh environment resulting
from natural selection. These results are the first for the Tankwa goat and provide essential information for
compiling a strategy for conservation and breeding of this genetic resource.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-48
JournalSouth African Journal of Animal Sciences
Volume44
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2014

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