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Sample records for capercaillie tetrao urogallus

  1. Simple and effective methods of freezing capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) semen.

    PubMed

    Kowalczyk, Artur; Łukaszewicz, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    A continuous decline in the number and range of capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) in many European countries can be observed, mostly due to habitat destruction by human activity, unecological forestry management, and increased density of natural predators. Ex situ in vitro gene banks provide a unique opportunity to preserve the genetic material for future generations. Simple and effective cryopreservation methods for capercaillie semen are discussed. Semen was collected from seven males kept in the Capercaillie Breeding Centre at Forestry Wisła in Poland. Within five minutes after collection, ejaculates were diluted with EK diluent, then divided into two parts, and subjected to two freezing procedures: in pellets and in straws. In fresh semen, ejaculate clearness, viscosity, color and volume, as well as sperm concentration, motility and morphology, were evaluated, while in frozen-thawed semen only motility and morphology of sperm were determined. Fertilizing ability of thawed semen was examined for samples frozen in straws. Significant (P<0.05) differences between individual males were found in relation to the majority of fresh semen traits: ejaculate volume averaged 102.1 µL (varying from 49.0 to 205.0); average sperm concentration was 632.5 x 10⁶ mL⁻¹ (178.8-1257.1); percentage of live normal cells varied from 39.2 to 70.3% (58.7% on an average); percentage of motile cells ranged from 76.0 to 85.7%) and motility parameters were male dependent, as well. Both cryopreservation methods had a negative effect on morphology and motility of frozen-thawed semen; however, the straw method yielded 60.7% and the pellet method 42.5% of live cells in total in thawed semen (P<0.05), while the number of live normal (intact) cells was similar (22.4 and 22.2%, respectively). Egg fertility varied between 77.8 and 91.7% (average 84.4%). Both freezing procedures seem to be effective in obtaining acceptable viability and high fertilizing potency of thawed sperm and can be used

  2. Simple and Effective Methods of Freezing Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) Semen

    PubMed Central

    Kowalczyk, Artur; Łukaszewicz, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    A continuous decline in the number and range of capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) in many European countries can be observed, mostly due to habitat destruction by human activity, unecological forestry management, and increased density of natural predators. Ex situ in vitro gene banks provide a unique opportunity to preserve the genetic material for future generations. Simple and effective cryopreservation methods for capercaillie semen are discussed. Semen was collected from seven males kept in the Capercaillie Breeding Centre at Forestry Wisła in Poland. Within five minutes after collection, ejaculates were diluted with EK diluent, then divided into two parts, and subjected to two freezing procedures: in pellets and in straws. In fresh semen, ejaculate clearness, viscosity, color and volume, as well as sperm concentration, motility and morphology, were evaluated, while in frozen-thawed semen only motility and morphology of sperm were determined. Fertilizing ability of thawed semen was examined for samples frozen in straws. Significant (P<0.05) differences between individual males were found in relation to the majority of fresh semen traits: ejaculate volume averaged 102.1 µL (varying from 49.0 to 205.0); average sperm concentration was 632.5 x106 mL-1 (178.8–1257.1); percentage of live normal cells varied from 39.2 to 70.3% (58.7% on an average); percentage of motile cells ranged from 76.0 to 85.7%) and motility parameters were male dependent, as well. Both cryopreservation methods had a negative effect on morphology and motility of frozen-thawed semen; however, the straw method yielded 60.7% and the pellet method 42.5% of live cells in total in thawed semen (P<0.05), while the number of live normal (intact) cells was similar (22.4 and 22.2%, respectively). Egg fertility varied between 77.8 and 91.7% (average 84.4%). Both freezing procedures seem to be effective in obtaining acceptable viability and high fertilizing potency of thawed sperm and can be used to

  3. Characteristics of fresh semen of captive-bred capercaillie Tetrao urogallus L.

    PubMed

    Łukaszewicz, Ewa; Kowalczyk, Artur; Rzońca, Zenon

    2011-01-01

    In Poland Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) is one of the most seriously endangered grouse species. The ability of semen collection and its utilization for Capercaillie female insemination would allow overcoming some fertility problems observed in captive-bred populations and thus reduce the rate of loss of genetic diversity. The present experiment was carried out on 13 individuals: eight males were kept with females and five alone. From each male, semen was collected four times, every second day, and overall semen appearance (color, viscosity), ejaculate volume, spermatozoa concentration, motility and morphology were examined. Ejaculates suitable for artificial insemination (AI) were obtained from 11 individuals. The volume of ejaculates varied from one drop (noted as 0.010 ml) to 0.180 ml, whereas spermatozoa concentration varied from 100 × 10(6) ml(-1) to 1950 × 10(6) ml(-1). The total amount of live spermatozoa for males kept with females varied from 82.0 to 98.3% (92.9% on average) and among them, from 38.7 to 82.0% were morphologically normal (67.6% on average), whereas for solitary males these values were the following: from 93.7 to 98.7 of total live (96.3% on average) and from 45.0 to 85.3% live normal cells (65.7% on average). No significant group effect was observed for above traits. Semen from males kept with females contained significantly (P<0.01) fewer cells with bulb head (12.2% vs. 21.6%), but higher numbers of bent neck spermatozoa (3.0 vs. 2.1%) and with other deformities (10.0 vs. 6.8%); however, for last two forms existing differences were not significant. Results obtained indicate the possibility of collecting valuable ejaculates from captive-bred Capercaillie, both kept with or without females, which makes possible the application of AI in order to increase the progeny number and gene exchange of this species across time and geographical distance. PMID:22183730

  4. Comparative Examination of Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) Behaviour Responses and Semen Quality to Two Methods of Semen Collection

    PubMed Central

    Łukaszewicz, Ewa Teresa; Kowalczyk, Artur Mikołaj; Rzońca, Zenon

    2015-01-01

    Artificial insemination (AI) is very helpful in solving the reproductive and biodiversity problems observed in small, closed avian populations. The successful production of fertilized eggs using AI is dependent on the collection of good quality semen. Two methods of male sexual stimulation and semen collection from captive kept capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.), one of the most seriously endangered grouse species in Europe, are compared in this study. Ejaculates were obtained either with the use of a dummy female or by the dorso-abdominal massage method. Differences in the individual responses of the males to the two methods of semen collection as well as in their semen quality were noted. Only sperm concentration (432.4 x 106 mL-1 with dummy female and 614.5 x 106 mL-1 for massage method) was significantly affected by capercaillie stimulation method. Sperm motility and morphology were not affected (P≥0.05). Thus, for semen collection from captive kept capercaillie both methods can be used successfully. The dummy female can be an alternative to dorso-abdominal massage method, commonly used for semen collection from domesticated bird species. PMID:26397704

  5. Estimating population size for Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) with spatial capture-recapture models based on genotypes from one field sample

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mollet, Pierre; Kery, Marc; Gardner, Beth; Pasinelli, Gilberto; Royle, Andy

    2015-01-01

    We conducted a survey of an endangered and cryptic forest grouse, the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus, based on droppings collected on two sampling occasions in eight forest fragments in central Switzerland in early spring 2009. We used genetic analyses to sex and individually identify birds. We estimated sex-dependent detection probabilities and population size using a modern spatial capture-recapture (SCR) model for the data from pooled surveys. A total of 127 capercaillie genotypes were identified (77 males, 46 females, and 4 of unknown sex). The SCR model yielded atotal population size estimate (posterior mean) of 137.3 capercaillies (posterior sd 4.2, 95% CRI 130–147). The observed sex ratio was skewed towards males (0.63). The posterior mean of the sex ratio under the SCR model was 0.58 (posterior sd 0.02, 95% CRI 0.54–0.61), suggesting a male-biased sex ratio in our study area. A subsampling simulation study indicated that a reduced sampling effort representing 75% of the actual detections would still yield practically acceptable estimates of total size and sex ratio in our population. Hence, field work and financial effort could be reduced without compromising accuracy when the SCR model is used to estimate key population parameters of cryptic species.

  6. Estimating Population Size for Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) with Spatial Capture-Recapture Models Based on Genotypes from One Field Sample

    PubMed Central

    Mollet, Pierre; Kéry, Marc; Gardner, Beth; Pasinelli, Gilberto; Royle, J. Andrew

    2015-01-01

    We conducted a survey of an endangered and cryptic forest grouse, the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus, based on droppings collected on two sampling occasions in eight forest fragments in central Switzerland in early spring 2009. We used genetic analyses to sex and individually identify birds. We estimated sex-dependent detection probabilities and population size using a modern spatial capture-recapture (SCR) model for the data from pooled surveys. A total of 127 capercaillie genotypes were identified (77 males, 46 females, and 4 of unknown sex). The SCR model yielded atotal population size estimate (posterior mean) of 137.3 capercaillies (posterior sd 4.2, 95% CRI 130–147). The observed sex ratio was skewed towards males (0.63). The posterior mean of the sex ratio under the SCR model was 0.58 (posterior sd 0.02, 95% CRI 0.54–0.61), suggesting a male-biased sex ratio in our study area. A subsampling simulation study indicated that a reduced sampling effort representing 75% of the actual detections would still yield practically acceptable estimates of total size and sex ratio in our population. Hence, field work and financial effort could be reduced without compromising accuracy when the SCR model is used to estimate key population parameters of cryptic species. PMID:26087321

  7. Histological, histochemical and ultrastructural studies on Harderian and lacrimal glands of the Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus major L.).

    PubMed

    Klećkowska-Nawrot, Joanna; Goździewska-Harłajczuk, Karolina; Kowalczyk, Artur; Łukaszewicz, Ewa; Nowaczyk, Renata

    2016-03-01

    This study describes the macroscopic anatomy and the microscopic and ultrastructural features of the Harderian gland and lacrimal gland of the Capercaillies. It was conducted both on adult male and female Capercaillies. Tissue sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, azan trichrome, modified Mallory's trichrome, methyl green-pyronin Y, periodic acid-Schiff, alcian blue pH 2.5, aldehyde fuchsin and Hale's dialysed iron. The morphometric study of the Harderian and lacrimal glands indicated that they are both larger in male than in female Capercaillies. The histological analysis showed that the HG has a multilobar tubulo-alveolar structure with numerous lymphocytes and plasma cells. The LG has a multilobar tubulo-acinar structure without lymphocytes and plasma cells. The periodic acid-Schiff staining and alcian blue pH 2.5 staining demonstrated a mild positive reaction in the epithelial cells of the Harderian gland and weak positive reaction in the lacrimal gland. The HDI staining detected the presence of carboxylated acid mucopolysaccharides in the Harderian and lacrimal glands. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of two types of secretory vesicles in the cytoplasm of both studied glands. It also showed that lipid droplets and glycogen granules were more abundant in the Harderian gland than in the lacrimal gland of this species. PMID:26960354

  8. Is It Necessary Managing Carnivores to Reverse the Decline of Endangered Prey Species? Insights from a Removal Experiment of Mesocarnivores to Benefit Demographic Parameters of the Pyrenean Capercaillie.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Afonso, Iván; Jiménez, José; Fernández-Olalla, Mariana; Canut, Jordi; García-Ferré, Diego; Piqué, Josep; García, Francisco; Roig, Job; Muñoz-Igualada, Jaime; González, Luis Mariano; López-Bao, José Vicente

    2015-01-01

    Mesopredator control has long been used to alleviate the effect of elevated predation pressure on vulnerable, threatened or valuable species. However, the convenience of using mesopredator controls is technically questionable and scientifically-sound research is therefore required to evaluate the impact of predation on prey case by case. In this study we evaluated the effect of the alteration of terrestrial mesopredator dynamics on the demographic parameters of a relict capercaillie Tetrao urogallus aquitanicus population currently in decline for which the impact of predation has not previously been assessed. We used a six-year mesocarnivore removal experiment (2008-2013) together with seven-years of previous demographic information on capercaillies (1999-2007) within a before-after control-impact (BACI) design to evaluate the effect of mesocarnivore removal on capercaillie demographic parameters and on spatial behaviour of the most frequent predatory mesocarnivores of the capercaillie (Martes spp. and red fox Vulpes vulpes). Using a dynamic site-occupancy approach, the reduction of mesocarnivore population levels as a result of removal was clear for marten species, mainly during key months for capercaillie reproduction, but not for the red fox. Our results show that the breeding success of capercaillies was enhanced in areas where carnivores were removed and was inversely related to the occupation level of the studied mesocarnivores, although being only significant for Martes spp. Moreover, capercaillie predation rates were lower and adult survival seemingly higher in treatment during the removal phase. Cost-effective, long-term management interventions to ensure the recovery of this threatened capercaillie population are discussed in the light of the results. At our study area, the decision for implementing predation management should be included within a broader long-term conservation perspective. In this regard, a more feasible and sustainable management

  9. Is It Necessary Managing Carnivores to Reverse the Decline of Endangered Prey Species? Insights from a Removal Experiment of Mesocarnivores to Benefit Demographic Parameters of the Pyrenean Capercaillie

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Afonso, Iván; Jiménez, José; Fernández-Olalla, Mariana; Canut, Jordi; García-Ferré, Diego; Piqué, Josep; García, Francisco; Roig, Job; Muñoz-Igualada, Jaime; González, Luis Mariano; López-Bao, José Vicente

    2015-01-01

    Mesopredator control has long been used to alleviate the effect of elevated predation pressure on vulnerable, threatened or valuable species. However, the convenience of using mesopredator controls is technically questionable and scientifically-sound research is therefore required to evaluate the impact of predation on prey case by case. In this study we evaluated the effect of the alteration of terrestrial mesopredator dynamics on the demographic parameters of a relict capercaillie Tetrao urogallus aquitanicus population currently in decline for which the impact of predation has not previously been assessed. We used a six-year mesocarnivore removal experiment (2008–2013) together with seven-years of previous demographic information on capercaillies (1999–2007) within a before-after control-impact (BACI) design to evaluate the effect of mesocarnivore removal on capercaillie demographic parameters and on spatial behaviour of the most frequent predatory mesocarnivores of the capercaillie (Martes spp. and red fox Vulpes vulpes). Using a dynamic site-occupancy approach, the reduction of mesocarnivore population levels as a result of removal was clear for marten species, mainly during key months for capercaillie reproduction, but not for the red fox. Our results show that the breeding success of capercaillies was enhanced in areas where carnivores were removed and was inversely related to the occupation level of the studied mesocarnivores, although being only significant for Martes spp. Moreover, capercaillie predation rates were lower and adult survival seemingly higher in treatment during the removal phase. Cost-effective, long-term management interventions to ensure the recovery of this threatened capercaillie population are discussed in the light of the results. At our study area, the decision for implementing predation management should be included within a broader long-term conservation perspective. In this regard, a more feasible and sustainable management

  10. Reintroduction of the European Capercaillie from the Capercaillie Breeding Centre in Wisła Forest District: Genetic Assessments of Captive and Reintroduced Populations

    PubMed Central

    Strzała, Tomasz; Kowalczyk, Artur; Łukaszewicz, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    The Western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) is a specific bird species, which, despite its very broad distribution and large global population size, is highly endangered in many Western and Central European countries. According to the species situation, in many countries (including Poland), breeding and reintroduction programmes have been started. One of the most complex and large-scale reintroduction programmes was started in Bory Dolnośląskie Forest, and the Capercaillie Breeding Centre in Wisła Forest District was used as one of the sources of individuals for reintroduction. As genetic tools provide essential knowledge about species biodiversity, which is crucially important during the breeding process and reintroduction, both captive and reintroduced grouse populations were genetically analysed. We were particularly interested in genetic diversity of the individuals in both populations and the genetic relationship between them, as well as between them and other capercaillie representatives from their current range. To fulfil these goals we determined nine microsatellite loci along with a fragment of the mitochondrial control region. Genetic diversity parameters were moderate to high compared to populations from other Central and Western European countries. Both populations were clustered into three distinct genetic clades based on microsatellites. Phylogenetic analysis placed all mitochondrial haplotypes we revealed in the Eurasian clade. The present results will play an important role as they will help to preserve and maximize genetic diversity in captive populations, and will provide a basis for future monitoring of the reintroduction process. PMID:26682897

  11. Genetic Differentiation of the Western Capercaillie Highlights the Importance of South-Eastern Europe for Understanding the Species Phylogeography

    PubMed Central

    Ballian, Dalibor; Kunovac, Saša; Zubić, Goran; Grubešić, Marijan; Zhelev, Petar; Paule, Ladislav; Grebenc, Tine; Kraigher, Hojka

    2011-01-01

    The Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) is a grouse species of open boreal or high altitude forests of Eurasia. It is endangered throughout most mountain range habitat areas in Europe. Two major genetically identifiable lineages of Western Capercaillie have been described to date: the southern lineage at the species' southernmost range of distribution in Europe, and the boreal lineage. We address the question of genetic differentiation of capercaillie populations from the Rhodope and Rila Mountains in Bulgaria, across the Dinaric Mountains to the Slovenian Alps. The two lineages' contact zone and resulting conservation strategies in this so-far understudied area of distribution have not been previously determined. The results of analysis of mitochondrial DNA control region sequences of 319 samples from the studied populations show that Alpine populations were composed exclusively of boreal lineage; Dinaric populations of both, but predominantly (96%) of boreal lineage; and Rhodope-Rila populations predominantly (>90%) of southern lineage individuals. The Bulgarian mountains were identified as the core area of the southern lineage, and the Dinaric Mountains as the western contact zone between both lineages in the Balkans. Bulgarian populations appeared genetically distinct from Alpine and Dinaric populations and exhibited characteristics of a long-term stationary population, suggesting that they should be considered as a glacial relict and probably a distinct subspecies. Although all of the studied populations suffered a decline in the past, the significantly lower level of genetic diversity when compared with the neighbouring Alpine and Bulgarian populations suggests that the isolated Dinaric capercaillie is particularly vulnerable to continuing population decline. The results are discussed in the context of conservation of the species in the Balkans, its principal threats and legal protection status. Potential conservation strategies should consider the

  12. Do multiple herbivores maintain chemical diversity of Scots pine monoterpenes?

    PubMed Central

    Iason, Glenn R.; O'Reilly-Wapstra, Julianne M.; Brewer, Mark J.; Summers, Ron W.; Moore, Ben D.

    2011-01-01

    A central issue in our understanding of the evolution of the diversity of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) is whether or not compounds are functional, conferring an advantage to the plant, or non-functional. We examine the hypothesis that the diversity of monoterpene PSMs within a plant species (Scots pine Pinus sylvestris) may be explained by different compounds acting as defences against high-impact herbivores operating at different life stages. We also hypothesize that pairwise coevolution, with uncorrelated interactions, is more likely to result in greater PSM diversity, than diffuse coevolution. We tested whether up to 13 different monoterpenes in Scots pine were inhibitory to herbivory by slugs (Arion ater), bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), each of which attack trees at a different life stage. Plants containing more α-pinene were avoided by both slugs and capercaillie, which may act as reinforcing selective agents for this dominant defensive compound. Herbivory by red deer and capercaillie were, respectively, weakly negatively associated with δ3-carene, and strongly negatively correlated with the minor compound β-ocimene. Three of the four herbivores are probably contributory selective agents on some of the terpenes, and thus maintain some, but by no means all, of the phytochemical diversity in the species. The correlated defensive function of α-pinene against slugs and capercaillie is consistent with diffuse coevolutionary processes. PMID:21444308

  13. From connectivity to isolation: genetic consequences of population fragmentation in capercaillie across Europe.

    PubMed

    Segelbacher, G; Höglund, J; Storch, I

    2003-07-01

    The capercaillie inhabits a continuous range in large parts of the Palearctic boreal forest, but is patchily distributed in temperate Europe. An ongoing population decline, largely related to human land use changes, has been most pronounced in central and western Europe, where some local populations have become extinct. In this study, we document the genetic differentiation of capercaillie populations at different stages along a gradient of spatial structuring from high connectivity (continuous range in the boreal forest) to a metapopulation systems (Alps) and recent (central Europe) and historic (Pyrenees) isolation. Four hundred and sixty individuals from 14 sample sites were genotyped at 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci to assess genetic structure and variation of capercaillie populations across its European range. As expected, differentiation was least pronounced within the continuous range in the boreal forest. Within the metapopulation system of the Alps, differentiation was less than among the isolated populations of central Europe (Black Forest, Fichtelgebirge, Thuringia, Vosges). In the long-isolated population of the Pyrenees, and the recently isolated populations of central Europe, genetic diversity was significantly reduced compared with the Alps and boreal forest. Our results agree with the concept of a gradual increase in genetic differentiation from connectivity to isolation, and from recent to historic isolation. Anthropogenic habitat deterioration and fragmentation thus not only leads to range contractions and extinctions, but may also have significant genetic and evolutionary consequences for surviving populations. To maintain high levels of genetic variation in species in fragmented habitats, conservation should aim at securing connectivity between spatially distinct populations. PMID:12803630

  14. Demographic Status and Genetic Tagging of Endangered Capercaillie in NW Spain

    PubMed Central

    Morán-Luis, María; Fameli, Alberto; Blanco-Fontao, Beatriz; Fernández-Gil, Alberto; Rodríguez-Muñoz, Rolando; Quevedo, Mario; Mirol, Patricia; Bañuelos, María-José

    2014-01-01

    Counting rare and elusive animals and evaluating their demographic status, are fundamental yet challenging aspects of population ecology and conservation biology. We set out to estimate population size (Nc), genetic effective population size (Ne gen), sex ratio, and movements based on genetic tagging for the threatened Cantabrian capercaillie. We used 9 microsatellite loci to genotype 134 droppings collected at 34 display areas during the breeding season. Using genetic capture-mark-recapture, we estimated 93 individuals (Nc, 95% CI: 70–116) in an area of about 500 km2, with sex ratio biased towards males (1∶1.6). Estimated Ne gen (35.5) was 38% of Nc, notably higher than the published average in wild populations. This capercaillie population is small and well within concern in terms of population viability. By genetic tagging, we detected mostly short movements; just a few males were recaptured between contiguous display areas. Non-invasive surveys of endangered populations have a great potential, yet adequate sample size and location are key to obtain reliable information on conservation status. PMID:24926790

  15. Identification of raw and heat-processed meats from game bird species by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism of the mitochondrial D-loop region.

    PubMed

    Rojas, M; González, I; Fajardo, V; Martín, I; Hernández, P E; García, T; Martín, R

    2009-03-01

    Polymerase chain reaction-RFLP analysis has been applied to the identification of meats from quail (Coturnix coturnix), pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa), chukar partridge (Alectoris chukar), guinea fowl (Numida meleagris), capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), Eurasian woodcock (Scolopax rusticola), and woodpigeon (Columba palumbus). Polymerase chain reaction amplification was carried out using a set of primers flanking a conserved region of approximately 310 bp from the mitochondrial D-loop region. Restriction site analysis based on sequence data from this DNA fragment permitted the selection of HinfI, MboII, and Hpy188III endonucleases for species identification. The restriction profiles obtained when amplicons were digested with the chosen enzymes allowed the unequivocal identification of all game bird species analyzed. Consistent results were obtained with both raw and heat-processed meats. PMID:19211540

  16. Population genetic structure of male black grouse (Tetrao tetrix L.) in fragmented vs. continuous landscapes.

    PubMed

    Caizergues, Alain; Rätti, Osmo; Helle, Pekka; Rotelli, Luca; Ellison, Laurence; Rasplus, Jean-Yves

    2003-09-01

    We investigated the association of habitat fragmentation with genetic structure of male black grouse Tetrao tetrix. Using 14 microsatellites, we compared the genetic differentiation of males among nine localities in continuous lowland habitats in Finland to the genetic differentiation among 14 localities in fragmented habitats in the Alps (France, Switzerland and Italy). In both areas, we found significant genetic differentiation. However, the average differentiation, measured as theta, was more than three times higher in the Alps than in Finland. The greater differentiation found in the Alps is probably due to the presence of mountain ridges rising above natural habitats of the species, which form barriers to gene flow, and to a higher influence of genetic drift resulting from lower effective sizes in highly fragmented habitats. The detection of isolation by distance in the Alps suggests that gene flow among populations does occur. The genetic variability measured as gene diversity HE and allelic richness A was lower in the Alps than in Finland. This could result from the higher fragmentation and/or from the fact that populations in the Alps are isolated from the main species range and have a lower effective size than in Finland. This study suggests that habitat fragmentation can affect genetic structure of avian species with relatively high dispersal propensities. PMID:12919469

  17. Monitoring landscape changes in Caucasian black grouse (Tetrao mlokosiewiczi) habitat in Iran during the last two decades.

    PubMed

    Darvishi, Asef; Fakheran, Sima; Soffianian, Alireza

    2015-07-01

    Caucasian black grouse (Tetrao mlokosiewiczi) is on the 'red' list of species of high conservation concern as nearest threatened (NT) and also in level (I) of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The black grouse distribution range in Iran is restricted to the Arasbaran region, Northwest of Iran, and the populations and range of this specialist bird species have been declining over the last decades. Management of forest and grassland structures is important for black grouse population survival. The main goals of this study were to monitor and quantify the landscape pattern changes in Caucasian black grouse habitat in the Arasbaran biosphere reserve in two periods of 14 years (1987-2001) and 10 years (2001-2011). For quantifying landscape pattern changes, various landscape metrics were derived by spatial analysis software FRAGSTATS 3.3, including NP (number of habitat patches), LPI (largest patch index) and TE (total edge). The results indicated that the proportion of forest decreased from 39.95 to 31.95% and the proportion of grassland decreased from 44.45 to 38.44% in the 24-year span. NP of forests increased in the first period and decreased in the second period of study. TE of dense forest at altitude above 1800 m decreased. Reduction of forest edge is an indicator of reduction in habitat availability for Caucasian black grouse which use the forest edge for living, lekking and hatching in upland. Our results provided quantitative data on habitat loss and fragmentation in the Arasbaran biosphere reserve and indicated negative impacts of the landscape structure changes on Black grouse habitat. PMID:26088757

  18. Honeybees Increase Fruit Set in Native Plant Species Important for Wildlife Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P.

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wildcherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  19. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism authentication of raw meats from game birds.

    PubMed

    Rojas, María; González, Isabel; Fajardo, Violeta; Martín, Irene; Hernández, Pablo E; García, Teresa; Martín, Rosario

    2008-01-01

    Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis has been applied to the identification of meats from quail (Coturnix coturnix), pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa), guinea fowl (Numida meleagris), capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), Eurasian woodcock (Scolopax rusticola), woodpigeon (Columba palumbus), and song thrush (Turdus philomelos). PCR amplification was performed using a set of primers flanking a conserved region of approximately 720 base pairs (bp) from the mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene. Restriction site analysis based on sequence data from this DNA fragment permitted the selection of AluI and BfaI endonucleases for species identification. The restriction profiles obtained when amplicons were digested with the chosen enzymes allowed the unequivocal identification of all game bird species analyzed. However, the use of the PCR-RFLP technique described is limited to raw meat authentication. It is not suitable for cooked products because thermal treatment strongly accelerates DNA degradation leading to difficulties in amplifying the 720 bp fragment. PMID:19202803

  20. Karyotypic evolution in the Galliformes: an examination of the process of karyotypic evolution by comparison of the molecular cytogenetic findings with the molecular phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Shibusawa, M; Nishibori, M; Nishida-Umehara, C; Tsudzuki, M; Masabanda, J; Griffin, D K; Matsuda, Y

    2004-01-01

    To define the process of karyotypic evolution in the Galliformes on a molecular basis, we conducted genome-wide comparative chromosome painting for eight species, i.e. silver pheasant (Lophura nycthemera), Lady Amherst's pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae), ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), Chinese bamboo-partridge (Bambusicola thoracica) and common peafowl (Pavo cristatus) of the Phasianidae, and plain chachalaca (Ortalis vetula) of the Cracidae, with chicken DNA probes of chromosomes 1-9 and Z. Including our previous data from five other species, chicken (Gallus gallus), Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) and blue-breasted quail (Coturnix chinensis) of the Phasianidae, guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) of the Numididae and California quail (Callipepla californica) of the Odontophoridae, we represented the evolutionary changes of karyotypes in the 13 species of the Galliformes. In addition, we compared the cytogenetic data with the molecular phylogeny of the 13 species constructed with the nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, and discussed the process of karyotypic evolution in the Galliformes. Comparative chromosome painting confirmed the previous data on chromosome rearrangements obtained by G-banding analysis, and identified several novel chromosome rearrangements. The process of the evolutionary changes of macrochromosomes in the 13 species was in good accordance with the molecular phylogeny, and the ancestral karyotype of the Galliformes is represented. PMID:15218250

  1. Mechanisms Underlying the Bioindicator Notion: Spatial Association between Individual Sexual Performance and Community Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Laiolo, Paola; Bañuelos, María J.; Blanco-Fontao, Beatriz; García, Mónica; Gutiérrez, Gloria

    2011-01-01

    The bioindicator notion is an appealing concept that has received more support in applied than in basic ecology, mostly due to the difficulty in deriving general ecological rules applicable to all target organisms. However, recognizing the mechanisms that determine the association between a particular species and the well-being of many other species is important for understanding the functioning of ecosystems and the relationship among different biological levels. We examined here the processes at the individual level that cause an association between species performance and biodiversity value, by analyzing attributes that can be studied in a variety of animals with sexual reproduction, namely breeding site selection and condition-dependent sexual signals. Our study model was the Capercaillie, an indicator of forest functioning and diversity, and the associated bird community, used here as a surrogate of broader forest biodiversity. At a regional scale Capercaillie occurrence was not associated with the most diverse forest patches, but at the scale of male spring territories the sexual display grounds (arenas) were located in the oldest and less disturbed forest portions, which also hosted the richest local bird communities. Social mechanisms and conspecific cueing likely concurred with habitat-driven processes in determining the long-term persistence of traditional display grounds, which were appealing to many other species because of their structural composition. Characteristics of male vocal display that honestly advertize male quality (low frequencies and rapid song rates) were significantly correlated with high diversity values, resulting in a spatial association between individual and community performances. Costly or risky activities such as reproductive or social behaviors, which more than other attributes match gradients in habitat quality, are therefore contributing to functionally connect individuals with ecosystem health. PMID:21818374

  2. Microsatellite markers reveal the potential for kin selection on black grouse leks

    PubMed Central

    glund, J. H; Alatalo, R. V.; Lundberg, A.; ki, P. T. Rintam; Lindell, J.

    1999-01-01

    The evolution of social behaviour has puzzled biologists since Darwin. Since Hamilton's theoretical work in the 1960s it has been realized that social behaviour may evolve through the effects of kinship. By helping relatives, an individual may pass on its genes despite negative effects on its own reproduction. Leks are groups of males that females visit primarily to mate. The selective advantage for males to join such social groups has been given much recent attention, but no clear picture has yet emerged. Here we show, using microsatellite analysis, that males but not females of a lekking bird (the black grouse, Tetrao tetrix) are genetically structured at the lek level. We interpret this structuring to be the effects of strong natal philopatry in males. This has the consequence that males on any specific lek should be more related than expected by chance as indicated by our genetic data. Our results thus suggest that kin selection is a factor that needs to be considered in the evolution and maintenance of the lek mating system in black grouse and sheds new light on models of lek evolution.

  3. Virological Investigation of Avian Influenza Virus on Postglacial Species of Phasianidae and Tetraonidae in the Italian Alps

    PubMed Central

    Delogu, Mauro; Ghetti, Giulia; Gugiatti, Alessandro; Cotti, Claudia; Piredda, Isabella; Frasnelli, Matteo; De Marco, Maria A.

    2013-01-01

    Land-based birds, belonging to Galliformes order are considered to be potential intermediaries in the emergence of new strains of influenza A viruses (AIVs), but the viral circulation in these birds remains largely unknown. To gain insights into the circulation of AIV in the wild Galliformes populations in Italian Alps, we conducted a virological survey on rock partridge (Alectoris graeca saxatilis) belonging to Phasianidae family and on tetraonids including rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus helveticus) and black grouse (Tetrao tetrix tetrix). In 2003 and 2004, during the hunting seasons, 79 wild Galliformes, categorised into age and sex classes, were hunted in the Sondrio Province (Central Alps). Cloacal swabs were collected from 11 rock partridges and from 68 tetraonids including 23 alpine rock ptarmigans and 45 black grouses. We tested cloacal swabs by a high sensitive reverse transcription- (RT-) PCR detecting the matrix gene of AIV. No AIV was detected in the investigated samples, thus, suggesting the lack of AIV circulation in these relict populations in the study period. In terms of threatened species conservation, during wildlife management activities, it is very important to exclude the introduction of AIV-carrier birds in shared territories, a fact representing a health risk for these populations. PMID:24167732

  4. Spreading free-riding snow sports represent a novel serious threat for wildlife

    PubMed Central

    Arlettaz, Raphaël; Patthey, Patrick; Baltic, Marjana; Leu, Thomas; Schaub, Michael; Palme, Rupert; Jenni-Eiermann, Susanne

    2007-01-01

    Stress generated by humans on wildlife by continuous development of outdoor recreational activities is of increasing concern for biodiversity conservation. Human disturbance often adds to other negative impact factors affecting the dynamics of vulnerable populations. It is not known to which extent the rapidly spreading free-riding snow sports actually elicit detrimental stress (allostatic overload) upon wildlife, nor what the potential associated fitness and survival costs are. Using a non-invasive technique, we evaluated the physiological stress response induced by free-riding snow sports on a declining bird species of Alpine ecosystems. The results of a field experiment in which radiomonitored black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) were actively flushed from their snow burrows once a day during four consecutive days showed an increase in the concentration of faecal stress hormone (corticosterone) metabolites after disturbance. A large-scale comparative analysis across the southwestern Swiss Alps indicated that birds had higher levels of these metabolites in human-disturbed versus undisturbed habitats. Disturbance by snow sport free-riders appears to elevate stress, which potentially represents a new serious threat for wildlife. The fitness and survival costs of allostatic adjustments have yet to be estimated. PMID:17341459

  5. Limited indirect fitness benefits of male group membership in a lekking species.

    PubMed

    Lebigre, Christophe; Alatalo, Rauno V; Soulsbury, Carl D; Höglund, Jacob; Siitari, Heli

    2014-11-01

    In group living species, individuals may gain the indirect fitness benefits characterizing kin selection when groups contain close relatives. However, tests of kin selection have primarily focused on cooperatively breeding and eusocial species, whereas its importance in other forms of group living remains to be fully understood. Lekking is a form of grouping where males display on small aggregated territories, which females then visit to mate. As females prefer larger aggregations, territorial males might gain indirect fitness benefits if their presence increases the fitness of close relatives. Previous studies have tested specific predictions of kin selection models using measures such as group-level relatedness. However, a full understanding of the contribution of kin selection in the evolution of group living requires estimating individuals' indirect fitness benefits across multiple sites and years. Using behavioural and genetic data from the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), we show that the indirect fitness benefits of group membership were very small because newcomers joined leks containing few close relatives who had limited mating success. Males' indirect fitness benefits were higher in yearlings during increasing population density but marginally changed the variation in male mating success. Kin selection acting through increasing group size is therefore unlikely to contribute substantially to the evolution and maintenance of lekking in this black grouse population. PMID:25263625

  6. Life-history differences in age-dependent expressions of multiple ornaments and behaviors in a lekking bird.

    PubMed

    Kervinen, Matti; Lebigre, Christophe; Alatalo, Rauno V; Siitari, Heli; Soulsbury, Carl D

    2015-01-01

    Age is a major factor explaining variation in life-history traits among individuals with typical patterns of increasing trait values early in life, maximum trait expression, and senescence. However, age-dependent variation in the expressions of sexually selected traits has received less attention, although such variation underpins differences in male competitive abilities and female preference, which are central to sexual selection. In contrast to previous studies focusing on single traits, we used repeated measures of seven sexually selected morphological and behavioral traits in male black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) to quantify the effects of age and life span on their expressions and quantified this variation in relation to male reproductive effort. Trait expression increased with age, but long-lived males had a slower increase and delayed maxima in trait values compared with short-lived males. There was evidence of terminal investment (increasing trait values during the last breeding season) in some traits and senescence in all traits. These trait dynamics were largely explained by the timing of male peak lekking effort. This study shows that fully understanding the variation in sexually selected traits and fitness benefits associated with sexual selection requires accounting for the complex interaction among individual age, life span, and the timing of individuals' investment in reproduction. PMID:25560550

  7. Impact of transient climate change upon Grouse population dynamics in the Italian Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirovano, Andrea; Bocchiola, Daniele

    2010-05-01

    Understanding the effect of short to medium term weather condition, and of transient global warming upon wildlife species life history is essential to predict the demographic consequences therein, and possibly develop adaptation strategies, especially in game species, where hunting mortality may play an important role in population dynamics. We carried out a preliminary investigation of observed impact of weather variables upon population dynamics indexes of three alpine Grouse species (i.e. Rock Ptarmigan, Lagopus Mutus, Black Grouse, Tetrao Tetrix, Rock Partridge, Alectoris Graeca), nested within central Italian Alps, based upon 15 years (1995-2009) of available censuses data, provided by the Sondrio Province authority. We used a set of climate variables already highlighted within recent literature for carrying considerable bearing on Grouse population dynamics, including e.g. temperature at hatching time and during winter, snow cover at nesting, and precipitation during nursing period. We then developed models of Grouses' population dynamics by explicitly driving population change according to their dependence upon the significant weather variables and population density and we evaluated objective indexes to assess the so obtained predictive power. Eventually, we develop projection of future local climate, based upon locally derived trends, and upon projections from GCMs (A2 IPCC storyline) already validated for the area, to project forward in time (until 2100 or so) the significant climatic variables, which we then use to force population dynamics models of the target species. The projected patterns obtained through this exercise are discussed and compared against those expected under stationary climate conditions at present, and preliminary conclusions are drawn.

  8. Assessment of doses to game animals in Finland.

    PubMed

    Vetikko, Virve; Kostiainen, Eila

    2013-11-01

    A study was carried out to assess the dose rates to game animals in Finland affected by the radioactive caesium deposition that occurred after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine in 1986. The aim of this assessment was to obtain new information on the dose rates to mammals and birds under Finnish conditions. Dose rates were calculated using the ERICA Assessment Tool developed within the EC 6th Framework Programme. The input data consisted of measured activity concentrations of (137)Cs and (134)Cs in soil and lake water samples and in flesh samples of selected animal species obtained for environmental monitoring. The study sites were located in the municipality of Lammi, Southern Finland, where the average (137)Cs deposition was 46.5 kBq m(-2) (1 October 1987). The study sites represented the areas receiving the highest deposition in Finland after the Chernobyl accident. The selected species included moose (Alces alces), arctic hare (Lepus timidus) and several bird species: black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), hazel hen (Bonasia bonasia), mallard (Anas platurhynchos), goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) and teal (Anas crecca). For moose, dose rates were calculated for the years 1986-1990 and for the 2000s. For all other species, maximal measured activity concentrations were used. The results showed that the dose rates to these species did not exceed the default screening level of 10 μGy h(-1) used as a protection criterion. The highest total dose rate (internal and external summed), 3.7 μGy h(-1), was observed for the arctic hare in 1986. Although the dose rate of 3.7 μGy h(-1) cannot be considered negligible given the uncertainties involved in predicting the dose rates, the possible harmful effects related to this dose rate are too small to be assessed based on current knowledge on the biological effects of low doses in mammals. PMID:23395135

  9. Scenario-Led Habitat Modelling of Land Use Change Impacts on Key Species.

    PubMed

    Geary, Matthew; Fielding, Alan H; McGowan, Philip J K; Marsden, Stuart J

    2015-01-01

    Accurate predictions of the impacts of future land use change on species of conservation concern can help to inform policy-makers and improve conservation measures. If predictions are spatially explicit, predicted consequences of likely land use changes could be accessible to land managers at a scale relevant to their working landscape. We introduce a method, based on open source software, which integrates habitat suitability modelling with scenario-building, and illustrate its use by investigating the effects of alternative land use change scenarios on landscape suitability for black grouse Tetrao tetrix. Expert opinion was used to construct five near-future (twenty years) scenarios for the 800 km2 study site in upland Scotland. For each scenario, the cover of different land use types was altered by 5-30% from 20 random starting locations and changes in habitat suitability assessed by projecting a MaxEnt suitability model onto each simulated landscape. A scenario converting grazed land to moorland and open forestry was the most beneficial for black grouse, and 'increased grazing' (the opposite conversion) the most detrimental. Positioning of new landscape blocks was shown to be important in some situations. Increasing the area of open-canopy forestry caused a proportional decrease in suitability, but suitability gains for the 'reduced grazing' scenario were nonlinear. 'Scenario-led' landscape simulation models can be applied in assessments of the impacts of land use change both on individual species and also on diversity and community measures, or ecosystem services. A next step would be to include landscape configuration more explicitly in the simulation models, both to make them more realistic, and to examine the effects of habitat placement more thoroughly. In this example, the recommended policy would be incentives on grazing reduction to benefit black grouse. PMID:26569604

  10. Scenario-Led Habitat Modelling of Land Use Change Impacts on Key Species

    PubMed Central

    Geary, Matthew; Fielding, Alan H.; McGowan, Philip J. K.; Marsden, Stuart J.

    2015-01-01

    Accurate predictions of the impacts of future land use change on species of conservation concern can help to inform policy-makers and improve conservation measures. If predictions are spatially explicit, predicted consequences of likely land use changes could be accessible to land managers at a scale relevant to their working landscape. We introduce a method, based on open source software, which integrates habitat suitability modelling with scenario-building, and illustrate its use by investigating the effects of alternative land use change scenarios on landscape suitability for black grouse Tetrao tetrix. Expert opinion was used to construct five near-future (twenty years) scenarios for the 800 km2 study site in upland Scotland. For each scenario, the cover of different land use types was altered by 5–30% from 20 random starting locations and changes in habitat suitability assessed by projecting a MaxEnt suitability model onto each simulated landscape. A scenario converting grazed land to moorland and open forestry was the most beneficial for black grouse, and ‘increased grazing’ (the opposite conversion) the most detrimental. Positioning of new landscape blocks was shown to be important in some situations. Increasing the area of open-canopy forestry caused a proportional decrease in suitability, but suitability gains for the ‘reduced grazing’ scenario were nonlinear. ‘Scenario-led’ landscape simulation models can be applied in assessments of the impacts of land use change both on individual species and also on diversity and community measures, or ecosystem services. A next step would be to include landscape configuration more explicitly in the simulation models, both to make them more realistic, and to examine the effects of habitat placement more thoroughly. In this example, the recommended policy would be incentives on grazing reduction to benefit black grouse. PMID:26569604

  11. Spatially explicit modeling of conflict zones between wildlife and snow sports: prioritizing areas for winter refuges.

    PubMed

    Braunisch, Veronika; Patthey, Patrick; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2011-04-01

    Outdoor winter recreation exerts an increasing pressure upon mountain ecosystems, with unpredictable, free-ranging activities (e.g., ski mountaineering, snowboarding, and snowshoeing) representing a major source of stress for wildlife. Mitigating anthropogenic disturbance requires the spatially explicit prediction of the interference between the activities of humans and wildlife. We applied spatial modeling to localize conflict zones between wintering Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix), a declining species of Alpine timberline ecosystems, and two free-ranging winter sports (off-piste skiing [including snow-boarding] and snowshoeing). Track data (snow-sports and birds' traces) obtained from aerial photographs taken over a 585-km transect running along the timberline, implemented within a maximum entropy model, were used to predict the occurrence of snow sports and Black Grouse as a function of landscape characteristics. By modeling Black Grouse presence in the theoretical absence of free-ranging activities and ski infrastructure, we first estimated the amount of habitat reduction caused by these two factors. The models were then extrapolated to the altitudinal range occupied by Black Grouse, while the spatial extent and intensity of potential conflict were assessed by calculating the probability of human-wildlife co-occurrence. The two snow-sports showed different distribution patterns. Skiers' occurrence was mainly determined by ski-lift presence and a smooth terrain, while snowshoers' occurrence was linked to hiking or skiing routes and moderate slopes. Wintering Black Grouse avoided ski lifts and areas frequented by free-ranging snow sports. According to the models, Black Grouse have faced a substantial reduction of suitable wintering habitat along the timberline transect: 12% due to ski infrastructure and another 16% when adding free-ranging activities. Extrapolating the models over the whole study area results in an overall habitat loss due to ski infrastructure of

  12. Is more choice always desirable? Evidence and arguments from leks, food selection, and environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, John M C

    2005-02-01

    Recent studies on humans show that too much choice can make subjects less likely to choose any item. I consider general adaptive and non-adaptive explanations of why such choice aversion, or its converse, might occur in animals. There are three questions: is more choice always preferred, does it ever lead to less consumption (or a lower probability of consumption), and may it result in worse items being selected ? A preference for choice is one of the main explanations for lek formation and I draw attention to previously unrecognised parallels with models of human shopping behaviour. There is indeed evidence of female preference for larger leks, although much of the observational data are open to other interpretations. Unfortunately nobody has looked for choice aversion where it is most to be expected, in leks larger than normally occur. Evidence that too much choice of males confuses females is strongest in acoustically advertising frogs, but the widespread decrease of mating skew in larger leks might also have this explanation. A model reanalyses data on skew in black grouse Tetrao tetrix and suggests that considering only a random subset of a large lek may increase the chances of selecting the better males: larger leks are more likely to include better males, but these are less likely to be selected. These opposing effects may lead to an optimum lek size, but only with a sufficient decline in choice accuracy with size. With food choice, very few studies have avoided confounding choice with food quality, by manipulating only flavour. The widespread phenomena of stimulus-specific satiety and novelty seeking imply that monotonous diets are aversive, but no studies test whether animals choose sites where they know food diversity to be greater. Operant experiments that demonstrate mild preferences for free choice concern choice about the means to get food rather than the food itself. In some insect species even moderate choice of diet can be deleterious, and studies