Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 389781
Title The reintroduction of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) into the Netherlands: hidden life revealed by noninvasive genetic monitoring
Author(s) Koelewijn, H.P.; Pérez-Haro, M.; Jansman, H.A.H.; Boerwinkel, M.C.; Bovenschen, J.; Lammertsma, D.R.; Niewold, F.J.J.; Kuiters, A.T.
Source Conservation Genetics 11 (2010)2. - ISSN 1566-0621 - p. 601 - 614.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-010-0051-6
Department(s) CE - Molecular Ecology Ecotoxicology and Wildlife Management
Centre for Ecosystem Studies
CE - Vegetation and Landscape Ecology
Wageningen Environmental Research
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2010
Keyword(s) natural-populations - individual identification - conservation genetics - spatial-organization - microsatellite loci - genotyping feces - eastern germany - dna - size - biology
Abstract The last recorded presence of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in the Netherlands dates from 1989 and concerned a dead individual. In 2002 a reintroduction programme was started, and between June 2002 and April 2008 a total of 30 individuals (10 males and 20 females) were released into a lowland peat marsh in the north of the Netherlands. Noninvasive genetic monitoring based on the genetic profiles obtained from DNA extracted from otter faeces (spraints) was chosen for the post-release monitoring of the population. To this end, the founding individuals were genotyped before release and spraints were collected in the release area each winter from 2002 to 2008. From June 2002 to April 2008 we analysed the genetic profile of 1,265 spraints on the basis of 7–15 microsatellite loci, 582 of which (46%) were successfully assigned to either released or newly identified genotypes. We identified 54 offspring (23 females and 31 males): the females started to reproduce after 2 years and the males after 4 years. The mating and reproductive success among males was strongly skewed, with a few dominant males fathering two-thirds of the offspring, but the females had a more even distribution. The effective population size (Ne) was only about 30% of the observed density (N), mainly because of the large variance in reproductive success among males. Most juvenile males dispersed to surrounding areas on maturity, whereas juvenile females stayed inside the area next to the mother’s territory. The main cause of mortality was traffic accidents. Males had a higher mortality rate (22 out of 41 males (54%) vs. 9 out of 43 females (21%)). During winter 2007/08 we identified 47 individuals, 41 of which originated from mating within the release area. This study demonstrates that noninvasive molecular methods can be used efficiently in post-release monitoring studies of elusive species to reveal a comprehensive picture of the state of the population
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