The release of exotic genotypes into the wild can lead to the extinction of local demes through the hybridization among distinct gene pools. This may occur between wild specimens and their domesticated relatives. Escaped pets represent a well-known pathway for the introduction of allochtonous resources, and island environments require major attention as they include small-sized and naïve populations that may be prone to extinction. We characterized the genetic make-up of the black francolin (Francolinus francolinus, Phasianidae) resident to Cyprus using microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA for the purpose of sustainable use and long-term protection of this game species. We collected 59 samples of specimens hunted in the districts of Nicosia and Paphos, while others (n=18) were obtained from birds of unknown origin. These had been imported to a pet-centre in Nicosia, the largest in the capital offering animals either for production or leisure purposes. Both genetic systems pointed to the occurrence of distinct wild district populations that could be treated as separate management units. The non-significant value of the inbreeding coefficient (FIS) computed for Nicosia and Paphos populations (-0.039 and -0.189, respectively: P>0.05) and the lack of evidence for recent genetic bottlenecks did not indicate a serious risk of over-hunting. The microsatellites revealed the birds in the pet-centre as highly genetically divergent with respect to the wild ones, the mtDNA pointed to their assignment to alien Asian subspecies once they were compared to141 sequences of allopatric francolins. We advised the Game & Fauna Service to consider law enforcement to ban the import, detention and sale of these subspecies to protect the black francolin population native to Cyprus. The results are discussed in the context of a bibliographic frame including the partridges of the genus Alectoris (Phasianidae) as a model group with reference to genetic characterization and conservation of game bird island populations

Genetic characterization of game bird island populations: the conservation of the black francolin (Francolinus francolinus) of Cyprus

FORCINA, GIOVANNI;GUERRINI, MONICA;BARBANERA, FILIPPO
2014

Abstract

The release of exotic genotypes into the wild can lead to the extinction of local demes through the hybridization among distinct gene pools. This may occur between wild specimens and their domesticated relatives. Escaped pets represent a well-known pathway for the introduction of allochtonous resources, and island environments require major attention as they include small-sized and naïve populations that may be prone to extinction. We characterized the genetic make-up of the black francolin (Francolinus francolinus, Phasianidae) resident to Cyprus using microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA for the purpose of sustainable use and long-term protection of this game species. We collected 59 samples of specimens hunted in the districts of Nicosia and Paphos, while others (n=18) were obtained from birds of unknown origin. These had been imported to a pet-centre in Nicosia, the largest in the capital offering animals either for production or leisure purposes. Both genetic systems pointed to the occurrence of distinct wild district populations that could be treated as separate management units. The non-significant value of the inbreeding coefficient (FIS) computed for Nicosia and Paphos populations (-0.039 and -0.189, respectively: P>0.05) and the lack of evidence for recent genetic bottlenecks did not indicate a serious risk of over-hunting. The microsatellites revealed the birds in the pet-centre as highly genetically divergent with respect to the wild ones, the mtDNA pointed to their assignment to alien Asian subspecies once they were compared to141 sequences of allopatric francolins. We advised the Game & Fauna Service to consider law enforcement to ban the import, detention and sale of these subspecies to protect the black francolin population native to Cyprus. The results are discussed in the context of a bibliographic frame including the partridges of the genus Alectoris (Phasianidae) as a model group with reference to genetic characterization and conservation of game bird island populations
Forcina, Giovanni; Panayides, P; Kassinis, N; Guerrini, Monica; Barbanera, Filippo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/208004
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