Cervus is the leading software package for parentage analysis in plant and animal populations. It combines a robust likelihood-based method with a simple graphical interface and has been used by thousands of scientists around the world since its launch in 1998. Cervus analyses genetic data from co-dominant genetic markers such as microsatellites (STRs) and SNPs. It assumes that the species is diploid and that markers are autosomal, although sex-linked markers can be used for some analyses. It also assumes that markers are inherited independently of each other, in other words that they are in linkage equilibrium.