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Individual Identification and Genetic Variation of Lions (Panthera leo) from Two Protected Areas in Nigeria.

Author:
  • Talatu Tende
  • Bengt Hansson
  • Ulf Ottosson
  • Mikael Akesson
  • Staffan Bensch
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Publication/Series: PLoS ONE
Volume: 9
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Public Library of Science

Abstract english

This survey was conducted in two protected areas in Nigeria to genetically identify individual lions and to determine the genetic variation within and between the populations. We used faecal sample DNA, a non-invasive alternative to the risky and laborious task of taking samples directly from the animals, often preceded by catching and immobilization. Data collection in Yankari Game Reserve (YGR) spanned through a period of five years (2008 -2012), whereas data in Kainji Lake National Park (KLNP) was gathered for a period of three years (2009, 2010 and 2012). We identified a minimum of eight individuals (2 males, 3 females, 3 unknown) from YGR and a minimum of ten individuals (7 males, 3 females) from KLNP. The two populations were found to be genetically distinct as shown by the relatively high fixation index (FST = 0.17) with each population exhibiting signs of inbreeding (YGR FIS = 0.49, KLNP FIS = 0.38). The genetic differentiation between the Yankari and Kainji lions is assumed to result from large spatial geographic distance and physical barriers reducing gene flow between these two remaining wild lion populations in Nigeria. To mitigate the probable inbreeding depression in the lion populations within Nigeria it might be important to transfer lions between parks or reserves or to reintroduce lions from the zoos back to the wild.

Keywords

  • Biological Sciences

Other

Published
  • Conservation of threatened populations
  • BECC
  • Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab
  • ISSN: 1932-6203
Staffan Bensch
E-mail: staffan [dot] bensch [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor

MEMEG

+46 46 222 42 92

E-C213

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Head of unit

MEMEG

+46 46 222 42 92

E-C213

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Research group

Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab

Projects

Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

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