Population structure of Reyna Creole cattle in Nicaragua

Trop Anim Health Prod. 2010 Oct;42(7):1427-34. doi: 10.1007/s11250-010-9571-9. Epub 2010 Apr 17.


Reyna Creole cattle originated from Bos taurus cattle brought to Latin America during the Spanish colonization in the fifteenth century and are the only remaining local breed in Nicaragua. However, the current genetic status of this breed is unknown. Therefore, the population structure of three recorded Reyna Creole herds in Nicaragua was studied to estimate their level of inbreeding, effective population size, and generation intervals. Data from 2,609 animals born between 1958 and 2007 were analyzed. A pedigree completeness index higher than 0.8 was required to obtain reliable estimates of the level of inbreeding, and this criterion was met for 367 animals (14%) in two herds. The average level of inbreeding was 13.0%, with values ranging from 0% to 43.8% for individual animals. One of the herds had an average inbreeding level of 21.6%, primarily due to long periods in which the same bulls were used for mating, leading to excessive frequencies of matings between closely related animals. The effective population size differed between years and ranged from 28 to 46 animals, showing that the Reyna Creole cattle breed is endangered, close to critical status. The average generation interval was 6.9 years with values as high as 19.1 years for some sires that were used for artificial insemination over a long period of time. Due to the high level of inbreeding and small population size, urgent actions are required for the development of a breeding program to protect the breed and support its sustainable utilization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Cattle* / genetics
  • Cattle* / physiology
  • Female
  • Inbreeding / statistics & numerical data
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Nicaragua
  • Pedigree
  • Population Growth