RCIN and OZwRCIN projects


Title: Conservation genetics of the capercaillie in Poland– estimating the size of the Tatra National Park populationby the genotyping of non-invasive samples


Capercaillie population in the Tatra NP, Poland ; Genetyka konserwatorska głuszca w Polsce – ocena wielkości populacji z Tatrzańskiego Parku Narodowego na podstawie genotypowania prób nieinwazyjnych


Muzeum i Instytut Zoologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk

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Knowledge about population size is of high importance for conservationists. We used non-invasively collected samples and microsatellite genotyping to estimate the size of the Tatra National Park population of the endangered capercaillie Tetrao urogallus. This population is one of the most important strongholds of the species in Poland. In 2016 over 150 samples (faeces and feathers) of the capercaillie were collected throughout area of the Tatra National Park. Then, DNA was extracted and genetic profiles were evaluated, using nine microsatellite markers. We obtained 81 reliable genotypes. Among them, 34 unique genotypes were found, corresponding to Minimum Number of individuals Alive in the investigated population. Application of capture-recapture models in the R package Capwire indicated, that the area was inhabited by approx. 54 birds, whereas regression model suggested presence of 36–64 individuals. Previous field surveys suggested that the number of birds in the Tatra National Park is about 50. Hence, we assumed that genetic tagging of non-invasive samples performs well in estimating the abundance of the capercaillie in the investigated population.


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