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Mammalian Biology

, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp 94–101 | Cite as

Noninvasive genetic assessment provides evidence of extensive gene flow and possible high movement ability in the African golden wolf

  • Yamna KarsseneEmail author
  • Mohsen Chammem
  • Carsten Nowak
  • Koen de Smet
  • Diana Castro
  • Ahmed Eddine
  • Susana Lopes
  • Violeta Muñoz-Fuentes
  • Berardino Cocchiararo
  • Dick Klees
  • Peter Van Der Leer
  • Said Nouira
  • Raquel GodinhoEmail author
Original investigation

Abstract

The African golden wolf, Canis anthus, is a newly recognized medium-sized canid species from North Africa, which has remained poorly studied to date. We applied genetic methods for individual identification of non-invasively collected samples (n = 93) of the African golden wolf in Tunisia, assessing their genetic diversity and structure. The mitochondrial control region exhibited high haplotype diversity (Hd = 0.907 ± 0.018) with 15 haplotypes detected among 28 individuals. Similarly, a set of 15 microsatel-lite loci revealed high genetic diversity at the nuclear level (expected heterozygosity = 0.83±0.04; average number of alleles = 8.30 ± 0.99). The Bayesian model-based clustering method implemented in STRUCTURE did not reveal population structure in African golden wolves within Tunisia. This result was corroborated by the Discriminant Analysis of Principal Components where no clear clusters were observed. Based on seven individuals that were found multiple times among samples, we estimated straight distance movements up to 230 km. Our results provide movement lengths for the species and no evidence for biogeographical structure of genetic diversity within Tunisian golden wolves, probably related to the high dispersal ability of the species, facilitating high gene flow. The evaluation of population diversity and the first information on movement ability provided in this study should be considered as baseline information in the development of a management plan for African golden wolf in Tunisia.

Keywords

African golden wolf Genetic diversity Movement distances Non-invasive genetics Tunisia 

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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yamna Karssene
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mohsen Chammem
    • 2
  • Carsten Nowak
    • 3
  • Koen de Smet
    • 4
  • Diana Castro
    • 5
  • Ahmed Eddine
    • 6
  • Susana Lopes
    • 5
  • Violeta Muñoz-Fuentes
    • 3
  • Berardino Cocchiararo
    • 3
  • Dick Klees
    • 4
  • Peter Van Der Leer
    • 4
  • Said Nouira
    • 1
  • Raquel Godinho
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    Email author
  1. 1.Département de Biologie, Faculté des Sciences de TunisUniversité de Tunis El- ManarTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Elevage et de la Faune SauvageInstitut des Régions Arides de MédenineMédenineTunisia
  3. 3.Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum FrankfurtGelnhausenGermany
  4. 4.Society of North African Big Carnivores StichtingMortselBelgium
  5. 5.CIBIO/InBio - Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos GenéticosUniversidade do PortoVairãoPortugal
  6. 6.Laboratory of water conservatory management soil and forest, Faculty of Nature and Life SciencesUniversity ofTlemcenTlemcenAlgeria
  7. 7.Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  8. 8.Department of ZoologyUniversity of JohannesburgAuckland ParkSouth Africa

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