SHORT NOTE
The chamois (Rupicapra cf. pyrenaica) in central Italy: what ancient DNA tells us
 
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1
Università Politecnica delle Marche Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente (DiSVA) Via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona
2
Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini, Visso, Macerata
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Vincenzo Caputo Barucchi   

Università Politecnica delle Marche Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente (DiSVA) Via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona
Online publication date: 2019-12-30
Publication date: 2019-12-30
 
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2019;30(2):186–190
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ABSTRACT
The Apennine chamois (Rupicapra cf pyrenaica) is a very endangered mountain mammal. At the beginning of the 20th century, only a small population survived in the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park (Central Italy) and, despite its reintroduction in different Apennine massifs and an increased census size, its genetic variability is the lowest among bottlenecked mammals. The ancient DNA analysis of a skull dated back to ~ 3000 cal yr BP allowed us to describe a new haplotype belonging to the mitochondrial Central Clade (including Chartreuse and Apennine populations) but never found in extant chamois. This result underlines that the demographic collapse of Apennine populations, which probably started in the Pleistocene, was combined with an ever-increasing genetic erosion in gradually smaller and isolated populations.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This work was supported by funds from ``Università Politecnica delle Marche'' (Ricerca Scientifica d’Ateneo 2018, grant number I36C18004750005 and Progetto Strategico di Ateneo, grant number 040017\_R. SCIENT. A\_2016\_CAPUTO BARUCCHI\_V\_STRATEGICI). We are grateful to Carlo Bifulco, Director of the Sibillini Mountain National Park, for permitting us to study the Ripa Grande skull of Apennine chamois and to Francesca Alhaique (Museo delle Civiltà, Rome, Italy) for revising the first draft of the manuscript. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments which allowed the improvement of the manuscript.
eISSN:1825-5272
ISSN:0394-1914