Last but not beast: the fall of the Alpine wolves told by historical DNA

Détails

ID Serval
serval:BIB_3A0DB6EDD6A9
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Collection
Publications
Titre
Last but not beast: the fall of the Alpine wolves told by historical DNA
Périodique
Mammal Research
Auteur(s)
Dufresnes C., Miquel C., Taberlet P., Fumagalli L.
ISSN
2199-2401
2199-241X
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
25/03/2019
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Langue
anglais
Notes
PDF: Short Communication
Résumé
The sociopolitical acceptance necessary for the conservation of controversial species requires scientific knowledge that disentangles empirical facts from myth and misinformation. An epitome of such, the gray wolf (Canis lupus) had been eradicated from most of Western Europe by the early twentieth century. However, a few mysteriously re-appeared in the Alps throughout the twentieth century, leading to systematic hunts encouraged by popular folklore and massive waves of panic. These historical events are reminiscent of the hostile context now surrounding the recolonization of the wolf across former ranges. Through historical DNA sequencing of five rare museum specimens shot post-WWII, we tell the true story of these mystery beasts. The oldest ones (1947–1954) were just the very last survivors of an endemic, extremely resilient wolf population, thought to be extinct decades earlier, while recent ones (1978–1990) most likely originated from captivity. This parable reminds that today more than ever, scientific evidence is necessary to conduct an objective societal debate over the management and conservation of controversial species.
Mots-clé
Animal Science and Zoology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Création de la notice
12/03/2019 10:52
Dernière modification de la notice
03/04/2019 6:26
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