Tytuł: How many of them? Genetic diversity, survival and effective population size of the capercaillie population fromthe Gorce Mountains

Inny tytuł:

How many capercaillies are there in the Gorce Mts?


Muzeum i Instytut Zoologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk

Miejsce wydania:



24 cm


Population size and effective population size are important factors affecting probability of extinction of small, isolated population. Hence, from conservation perspective, it is recommended to monitor changes in population size of endangered species. Genetic methods, based on genetic profiling of non-invasive samples of biological material, despite some limitations, were proved to be efficient method in tracking individuals in the field and estimate populations' parameters. We used this strategy to investigate isolated population of the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) in the Gorce Mountains. In two study periods (2012–2013 and 2017–2018) almost 400 faeces and feathers were collected. Microsatellite genotyping was performed to identify individuals and estimate genetic diversity. We found that population is stable in terms of size and genetic indices, although allelic richness has significantly increased between 2012–2013 and 2017–2018. In the overall study period (2012–2018) there were 52 individuals identified. However, only 10 birds were found in both study periods. This suggests low survival in the population. Moreover, genetic data indicated low effective population size of the capercaillie in the Gorce Mts. Thus, we suggest that monitoring, either genetic and based on field-surveys, should be implemented in the management and protection of this population.


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