When someone would like to start a new studbook and makes a proposition to the board, it is advisable to consult the guidelines beforehand.
The starting points
It should be prevented that unusable or genetically unfavourable studbook are set-up, because a prospectless studbook can only lead to frustrations. Therefore, a number of important starting points / conditions are formulated. Keep in mind that these are guidelines, from which the board can and may divert (with motivation) under certain circumstances.
The guidelines will follow hereafter, followed by the motivations.
1. There should be at least 10 bloodlines per studbook, preferably more.
2. For species, with only a limited amount of bloodlines available, the number of bloodlines entered should represent a fair amount of the expected existing bloodlines in Europe. So, it will be standard procedure to ask for a global estimate of the number of bloodlines in Europe.
3. Several keepers will have to be registered with the studbook.
4. All registered animals must be legal ownership of the keeper.
5. It should be prevented that any possible non- registered animal can have contact with studbook animals.
6. Studbooks are primarily meant for threatened species.
7. Somebody who wants to become a (co) studbook coordinator should possess knowledge and experience with the designated species, must be communicative, cooperative and be able to work with a computer.
Motivations of the guidelines.
Ad.1. There should be at least 10 bloodlines per studbook, preferably more. Within the ESF, we work especially with long-time strategies. As a base minimum, we take 4 generations. To realize 4 generations without inbreeding, 8 bloodlines are necessary. Taking into account factors like loss of bloodlines, we chose for practical reasons a minimum of 10 bloodlines. Zoos depart from an observation boundary of a 100 years, but this seems a little too optimistic for a private organization like the ESF.
Ad.2. For species, with only a limited amount of bloodlines available, the number of bloodlines entered, should represent a fair amount of the expected existing bloodlines in Europe. So. it will be standard procedure to ask for a global estimate of the number of bloodlines in Europe. Sometimes, it happens that the desired number of bloodlines does not exist for certain species and we therefore have to accept inbreeding much sooner than desired. This is only acceptable in the eyes of the Genetic commission if no extra bloodlines exist in Europe. We must prevent that due to the limited availability of bloodlines within the studbook, we have to allow inbreeding, while this is not necessary outside the studbook; in that case the studbook would clearly fail its purpose.
Ad.3. Several keepers will have to be registered with the studbook. A complete studbook population residing with one keeper and probably in one location is prone to calamities like disease, fire, theft, floods, etc. This can wipe out a whole studbook population. One keeper, who keeps his animals at different locations, would spread the risk. Despite all this, the situation is not acceptable.
Ad.4. All registered animals must be in legal ownership of the keeper. Following the contacts and agreements with government agencies, this speaks for itself.
Ad.5. It should be prevented that any possibly non-registered animals can have contact with studbook animals. Essential for the management of a studbook is that the information entered in the programme is complete and correct. This means that all potential parents of a young animal should be registered with the studbook in some way. Because of this, all participants of the studbook are bound the register all their animals of this particular species.
Ad.6. Studbooks are primarily meant for threatened species. This guideline implements the goal of the ESF directly, so this has absolute priority. Nevertheless, studbooks for non-threatened species will also be accepted. Studbooks for species that are abundant in Europe are not desirable and in practice not viable.
Ad.7. Somebody who wants to become a (co) studbook coordinator should possess knowledge and experience with the designated species, must be communicative, cooperative and be able to work with a computer. It is expected that the (co) studbook coortdinator has a reasonable knowledge on a certain species. He is the pivot of the studbook, who works together in a cooperative and communicative way with the board and the studbook participants. Together with the studbook participants, the (co) studbook coordinator will bring the studbook to a slid level by way of : - reporting annually to the board about the managing of the studbook, - keeping studbook registration up-to-date, - making an executing breeding programmes in order to build and maintain a genetically viable population of the species, - sharing and creasing knowledge and experiences on the studbook species and giving information about the studbook species. Studbook coordinator and co- studbook coordinator will decide themselves who will do which task.