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Occurrence of black wolves in the Northern Apennines, Italy

Apollonio, Marco and Mattioli, Luca and Scandura, Massimo (2004) Occurrence of black wolves in the Northern Apennines, Italy. Acta Theriologica, Vol. 49 (2), p. 281-285. ISSN 0001-7051. Article.

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Abstract

The occurrence of black-coated individuals in wolf Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758 populations is not surprising itself, but their presence in populations recovering from a severe numerical decline has been considered a possible sign of crossbreeding with the domestic dog. In the northern Apennines (Italy), black wolves occur at a non-negligible frequency. In a 3300 km2 area, 22% of wolves observed and 23% of all dead wolves found were represented by animals with a completely black coat. One ‘black’ wolf belonging to the studied population was analysed by a set of microsatellite loci, and no trace of hybridization was found in its ancestry. This result induced us to consider the occurrence of a black phenotype in this area possibly derived from a natural combination of wolf alleles in coat colour determining genes, and not necessarily as the result of crossbreeding with the domestic form.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:433
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Canis lupus, black wolves, coat colour, hybridization
Subjects:Area 05 - Scienze biologiche > BIO/05 Zoologia
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Zoologia e genetica evoluzionistica
Publisher:Polish Academy of Sciences, Mammal Research Institute
ISSN:0001-7051
Deposited On:18 Aug 2009 10:02

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