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Low genetic diversity threatens imminent extinction for the Hungarian meadow viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis)

Ujvari, Beata LU ; Madsen, Thomas LU ; Kotenko, T; Olsson, M; Shine, R and Wittzell, Håkan LU (2002) In Biological Conservation 105(1). p.127-130
Abstract
Meadow vipers (Vipera ursinii) are small venomous snakes whose range in Hungary has been greatly fragmented by anthropogenic habitat disturbance (especially, agriculture). We obtained DNA from a total of eight Hungarian snakes. Genetic variability at the major histocompatibility (Mhc) class I loci was much lower for these snakes than for specimens from two large Ukrainian populations. Within two Hungarian populations for which we had multiple individuals, band-sharing indices were 100 and 84.6% (versus 63.3 and 57% for the Ukraine populations). The Ukrainian snakes also displayed more RFLP fragments than the Hungarian vipers (mean 13.7 versus 9.0, respectively). In combination with reports of birth deformities, chromosomal abnormalities... (More)
Meadow vipers (Vipera ursinii) are small venomous snakes whose range in Hungary has been greatly fragmented by anthropogenic habitat disturbance (especially, agriculture). We obtained DNA from a total of eight Hungarian snakes. Genetic variability at the major histocompatibility (Mhc) class I loci was much lower for these snakes than for specimens from two large Ukrainian populations. Within two Hungarian populations for which we had multiple individuals, band-sharing indices were 100 and 84.6% (versus 63.3 and 57% for the Ukraine populations). The Ukrainian snakes also displayed more RFLP fragments than the Hungarian vipers (mean 13.7 versus 9.0, respectively). In combination with reports of birth deformities, chromosomal abnormalities and low juvenile survival, these data strongly suggest that the Hungarian vipers are experiencing inbreeding depression. Genetic diversity is still present in the Hungarian vipers but among rather than within populations. Given the very low numbers of animals, the only feasible strategy to increase the genetic diversity and to save the Hungarian vipers from extinction is to implement a captive breeding program based on genetically screened animals. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Biological Conservation
volume
105
issue
1
pages
127 - 130
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000174722400012
  • scopus:0036130386
ISSN
1873-2917
DOI
10.1016/S0006-3207(01)00176-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
347865b9-5157-4ee9-9c53-94c32552c7b6 (old id 145620)
date added to LUP
2007-06-25 11:11:18
date last changed
2017-10-01 03:38:29
@article{347865b9-5157-4ee9-9c53-94c32552c7b6,
  abstract     = {Meadow vipers (Vipera ursinii) are small venomous snakes whose range in Hungary has been greatly fragmented by anthropogenic habitat disturbance (especially, agriculture). We obtained DNA from a total of eight Hungarian snakes. Genetic variability at the major histocompatibility (Mhc) class I loci was much lower for these snakes than for specimens from two large Ukrainian populations. Within two Hungarian populations for which we had multiple individuals, band-sharing indices were 100 and 84.6% (versus 63.3 and 57% for the Ukraine populations). The Ukrainian snakes also displayed more RFLP fragments than the Hungarian vipers (mean 13.7 versus 9.0, respectively). In combination with reports of birth deformities, chromosomal abnormalities and low juvenile survival, these data strongly suggest that the Hungarian vipers are experiencing inbreeding depression. Genetic diversity is still present in the Hungarian vipers but among rather than within populations. Given the very low numbers of animals, the only feasible strategy to increase the genetic diversity and to save the Hungarian vipers from extinction is to implement a captive breeding program based on genetically screened animals. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Ujvari, Beata and Madsen, Thomas and Kotenko, T and Olsson, M and Shine, R and Wittzell, Håkan},
  issn         = {1873-2917},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {127--130},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Biological Conservation},
  title        = {Low genetic diversity threatens imminent extinction for the Hungarian meadow viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(01)00176-8},
  volume       = {105},
  year         = {2002},
}