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Serena Pedraita

Master en Biologie

Research thematics

After the complete eradication of the Eurasian lynx from Switzerland at the end of the 20th century, a project for the reintroduction of the species was established by the KORA.

In the 1970s some couples of lynxes were reintroduces in the Swiss Alps from the population of the Carpathian Mountains, in Slovakia. Some of the individuals reintroduced were closely related. Nowadays, both populations of Slovakia and Switzerland (populations: Alps, Jura massive and North-eastern Switzerland) remain small and isolated from other populations inhabiting Europe and Asia. This has led to a genetic drift and, as a consequence, to the probable disappearing of low-frequency alleles from the populations’ gene pool. Genetic drift can have consequences in the phenotype frequencies such as of the coat patterns. Thüler (2002) studied the distribution of coat patterns of the Eurasian lynx in Switzerland based on space and time. Since the late 1990s there has been a decrease in the frequency of heterozygosity in the population of the Alps, but no decrease was observed on the population of the Jura massive.

Based on the project of Thüler (2002), this project aims to investigate the changes in the coat patterns’ frequency in both Swiss populations (Alps and Jura) until nowadays. Also, we aim to relate these temporal changes to the differences in heterozygosity levels and, if possible, to the high proportion of certain maternal blood lines in those populations. To this end, we will 1) analyse camera traps pictures of lynx from the Alps and Jura populations between 2000-2019, 2) analyse pictures of captured or of dead lynx of which we know the maternal bloodline, 3) compare our results to previous studies and to studies performed on the Carpathian population from which the Swiss lynxes came from (Kubala et al., 2020). The entire project will take place from June 2020 to July 2021.

Keywords

  • Eurasian lynx
  • Population genetics
  • Evolutionary genetics
  • Ecology
  • Conservation

Serena Pedraita

serena.pedraita@unine.ch

D221

+41 32 718 23 18