News‎ > ‎

Inbreeding in Scandinavian Wolves is Worse than We Thought

posted Mar 17, 2018, 7:13 PM by chloe owens

12/2/2017, by Nancy Bazilchuk, Science Nordic

Inbreeding in Scandinavian wolves is worse than we thought

Wolves in Norway are a hot-button issue, with the latest arguments related to whether or not the animals can be hunted or if they are protected by an international wildlife convention. But virtually no one disputes that the isolated population of 430 wolves in Scandinavia is highly inbred, descended from a handful of animals that arrived in the region in the 1980s and 1990s. Swedish, Norwegian and American researchers have now joined forces to conduct a detailed genetic study to see exactly how inbred the Scandinavian wolves are. The study, which relied on DNA from nearly 100 wolves, was recently published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. "The most striking thing that emerges from the new survey is the extreme lack of genetic variation among some individuals," said Øystein Flagstad, one of study’s co-authors. Flagstad is a geneticist with expertise in predators at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)…”… when every animal has common male and female ancestors, it means that the actual inbreeding in the genetic material can be quite a bit greater than might be expected from the family tree itself…”…For long-term survival, Flagstad believes that it is important that new wolves come in from the outside world…For long-term survival, Flagstad believes that it is important that new wolves come in from the outside world. “The population definitely needs some new Finno-Russian immigrants in the years to come,” he said.

http://sciencenordic.com/inbreeding-scandinavian-wolves-worse-we-thought

Comments