Maternal parity affects neonatal survival rate in a colony of captive bred baboons (Papio hamadryas)

Neroli Sunderland*, Scott Heffernan, Sally Thomson, Annemarie Hennessy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background Non-human primates, particularly baboons, are valuable as animal models for reproductive research, because of their similarity to humans. Knowledge of colony-specific pregnancy and neonatal outcomes is essential for interpretation of such research.

Methods A retrospective review of the reproductive records of the Australian National Baboon Colony (ANBC) from 1994 to 2006 was performed.

Results The overall live birth rate was over 70% of recognized pregnancies. Pregnancy loss was due to equal proportions of spontaneous abortion and stillbirth, and was not affected by maternal age or parity. Stillbirth rates were increased by the use of animals in novel late pregnancy experimental protocols. Neonatal mortality rates were low overall, but significantly higher in primiparous compared with multiparous mothers (P <0.05). There were no cases of maternal mortality.

Conclusions The success of the ANBC breeding programme is demonstrated by the low rate of pregnancy loss, high neonatal survival rate and lack of maternal mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-228
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Primatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • gestation
  • infant mortality
  • non-human primate
  • pregnancy outcome
  • primiparity
  • stillbirth
  • RANK


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