Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetics of an endangered animal species and its help to conservation plans

Date:
November 27, 2009
Source:
University of Granada
Summary:
Scientists have characterized the population genetic diversity of an animal species (a water vole, a species that resembles a mouse) in its whole distribution. This information is essential for developing successful conservation plans for such species.

Water vole.
Credit: Wikimedia, Public domain image

Scientists from the Biological Station of Doñana (CSIC) and the University of Granada have characterized the population genetic diversity of an animal species (a water vole, a species that resembles a mouse, in this case) in its whole distribution. This information is essential for developing successful conservation plans for such species.

Related Articles


This work was conducted by Alejandro Centeno Cuadros at the Doñana Biological Station (CSIC) in Sevilla, and the Department of Animal Biology of the University of Granada. His work was directed by doctors Jose Antonio Godoy and Miguel Delibes from the Doñana Biological Station, who jointly addressed a population and phylogeographic genetic study of the water vole (Arvicola sapidus) in its whole distribution (France and the Iberian Peninsula).

This research has shown that it is necessary to study the DNA in three hierarchical scales: individual, population and species, in order to understand the current genetic distribution of animal species. It also urges managers and scientists to embrace these levels of study because, Alejandro Centeno Cuadros warns, as in the case of habitat quality and population status, "agencies responsible for management and conservation of species must also seek to preserve their genetic diversity".

The most comprehensive study So far, a study had never before been conducted that addressed the complete genetic component on the species. "More importantly -the researcher points out- is that we have covered distribution patterns of genetic diversity of water voles, both in its whole distribution and as local populations in heterogeneous environments, like in Doñana natural environment, obtaining DNA from bones to individuals tricked by our research group."

Thus, this work has deepened the understanding of the natural history of this protected species from previous research carried out by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Now there is enough information to properly develop conservation plans for the species, thanks to the information about the genetic component of the species that Centeno Cuadros has brought out.

To carry out this investigation, Centeno Cuadros obtained DNA from bones of water voles preyed on by raptors and museum material, fur of water voles from national and international scientific collections, and fresh tissue obtained in populations of water voles in the Doñana Natural Region and in the Río Bergantes (Castellón) environment.

From 250,000 years ago Researchers have determined what happened to water vole from its origins up to the present population behaviour by studying distribution of genetic diversity. To this end, they achieved representative samples from its whole distribution (France and the Iberian Peninsula), as they were able to obtain DNA from bones found primarily in raptor pellets (regurgitated composed of undigested food debris) that were fed on water voles.

Because of this, they consider that the origin of this rodent species occurred in Iberia in the late Middle Pleistocene (250,000 years ago) as a result of isolation in the Iberian Peninsula of its ancestor species, which fled from heavy falls in temperature and advancing ice from North to South Europe during the Mindel Glaciation.

Scientists have found no evidence that landscape exerts strong influence on the genetic structure of water vole populations, contrary to expectations generated by a species described as habitat specialist. This dispersive behaviour may be a strategy of habitat specialists, whose population survival and persistence in space and time, will depend on their ability to colonize best areas for breeding, in the case of water voles, separated by great distances, far exceeding the expected for a rodent of its size.

Alejandro Centeno Cuadros stresses that the results of this research "should be considered for developing conservation plans and thus ensuring the survival of the genetic diversity of this species. In fact, water vole is listed as "Vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Granada. "Genetics of an endangered animal species and its help to conservation plans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127124851.htm>.
University of Granada. (2009, November 27). Genetics of an endangered animal species and its help to conservation plans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127124851.htm
University of Granada. "Genetics of an endangered animal species and its help to conservation plans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127124851.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins