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Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Conservation genetics of bear, red deer and lynx in Slovenia

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   

Code Science Field
B220  Biomedical sciences  Genetics, cytogenetics 
B320  Biomedical sciences  Systematic zoology, taxonomy, zoogeopraphy 
B330  Biomedical sciences  Palaeozoology, phylogeny 
Keywords
brown bear, red deer, eurasian lynx, conservation genetics, population ecology, paleoecology
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (11)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  03316  PhD Miha Adamič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2004 - 2007  361 
2.  05098  PhD Peter Dovč  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2007  908 
3.  10412  PhD Simon Horvat  Biotechnical sciences  Researcher  2004 - 2007  526 
4.  22515  PhD Klemen Jerina  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2004 - 2007  440 
5.  17424  Franc Kljun    Technician  2004 - 2007  49 
6.  06960  PhD Ivan Kos  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2007  548 
7.  24029  Jožica Murko Bulić    Technician  2004 - 2005 
8.  18628  PhD Hubert Potočnik  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2007  254 
9.  25992  PhD Tomaž Skrbinšek  Biology  Researcher  2005 - 2007  204 
10.  11906  PhD Aleš Snoj  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2007  209 
11.  14835  PhD Peter Trontelj  Biology  Principal Researcher  2004 - 2007  405 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  64,571 
Abstract
Conservation of endangered large mammal species in Europe is often in conflict with socio-economic interests. For efficient conservation management of populations of such species, information on population and demographic parameters is needed. Contemporary population genetic and phylogenetic methods offer access to such kind of data, often unavailable through traditional approaches. Among the most useful are data on population size, sexual structure, genetic structure, potential danger through inbreeding, parentage, dispersal, home ranges, and on the geographic or phylogenetic origin of animals. In Slovenia such kind of data is needed for many species of wildlife, but, at the present, there is a lack of appropriate research impulse and funding. Therefore, this pilot project is proposed. Some of the main national research capacities in animal genetics and ecology will contribute to it. The project is aimed at three large mammal species currently in the spotlight for different problems. In the brown bear, an accurate estimate of population size is urgently needed. Claims are made that the number it too high, although reliable data are lacking. In the project the new methodology will be tested by trying to estimate the number of bears on a 200 km2 test plot. The estimated number will be compared with the number obtained by the traditional counts at feeding places. Lynx was introduced to Slovenia three decades ago, after it had been hunted to extinction. Recently, lowered fecundity as well as a general decline has been reported. New introductions were considered as a possible solution to the problem. The project will try to answer whether the fears of inbreeding depression can be genetically justified, and, using old museum skins, which potential European donor population was the closets relative of the extinct Slovenian population. A similar question can be raised for red dear in the context of the potential damage caused to the forests. Among the descendants of numerous introduced populations there may still be hiding some surviving indigenous animals from Slovenian Dinaric forests. Identifying those populations would make decisions about management priorities a lot clearer.
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