Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Origins of wolverine in California genetically verified

04.05.2009
Study provides first evidence of connection between Rocky, Sierra Nevada Mountain populations

A wolverine first photographed by a remote-controlled camera on the Tahoe National Forest in February 2008 is most closely related to Rocky Mountain populations, according to a team of 10 federal, state and university scientists.

Their findings are published in the latest edition of Northwest Science and focus on genetic analysis of hair collected from the first scientifically verified California wolverine in 86 years. The U.S. Forest Service funded the study, which demonstrated the first evidence of connectivity between wolverine populations living in the Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Determining where the male wolverine originated is important because it is a state-threatened species, and California wolverines are genetically unique from other North American populations.

Last year, scientists collected hair and fecal samples from the photographed animal so that its DNA could be examined to help determine whether the wolverine had somehow survived as part of a historic population, escaped or was released from captivity, or dispersed on its own from outside of California.

Scientists at the agency's Wildlife Genetics Laboratory in Missoula, Mont., later found the animal was not part of a historic population by comparing its genetic samples with specimens found in California museums. These scientists previously used the specimens to learn California wolverines are a distinct North American genotype.

Further genetic analysis suggested the California wolverine most resembled a population comprised mostly of wolverines from Idaho, with a 73 percent confidence level. By comparison, the California wolverine had less than a five percent probability of belonging to most of the other North American wolverine populations evaluated.

The scientists also used carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses to support the genetic results in the study, which is titled "Wolverine Confirmation in California after Nearly a Century: Native or Long-Distance Immigrant?"

"We still can't be sure how this animal came to the Tahoe National Forest," said Bill Zielinski, one of the study's authors and a research ecologist at the Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station. "But, this peer-reviewed study shows that other scientists agreed with our interpretation that it likely traveled here from the Rockies."

Zielinski said the photographed animal would have traveled more than 400 miles to reach the national forest if it naturally dispersed from the nearest Rocky Mountain population. He said if the wolverine was accidentally or deliberately transplanted, it would have more likely originated from an area where wolverines are more common and legally trapped, such as Alaska or the Yukon Territory.

Sierra Pacific Industries wildlife biologists also photographed the wolverine this winter using remote-controlled cameras on land it manages in California. Wildlife Genetics Laboratory scientists determined it to be the same wolverine photographed last year.

Yasmeen Sands | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fs.fed.us
http://www.bioone.org/toc/nwsc/83/2

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>