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Bray T.C.,King Saud University | Mohammed O.B.,King Saud University | Butynski T.M.,King Khalid Wildlife Research Center | Butynski T.M.,Lolldaiga Hills Research Programme | And 3 more authors.
Mammalian Biology | Year: 2014

This work represents the most extensive genetic study of the grey wolf (Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758) in Arabia and the first considering genetic data from multiple locations within Saudi Arabia. Previous suggestion of the occurrence of two subspecies of wolves in Arabia is not supported by this study. The genetic evidence suggests that the wolves of Saudi Arabia are genetically variable and more closely related to the Eurasian wolf Canis lupus group (dog included) than to the Indian wolf C. l. pallipes. The genetic diversity observed for C. lupus in Saudi Arabia indicates that the subspecific status C. l. arabs should be retained for the Arabian wolf. What remains unclear is the degree to which genetic introgression from domestic dogs has influenced the composition and integrity of C. lupus in Saudi Arabia. © 2014 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde. Source

Kalbitzer U.,Leibniz Institute for Primate Research | Kalbitzer U.,University of Calgary | Roos C.,Leibniz Institute for Primate Research | Kopp G.H.,Leibniz Institute for Primate Research | And 6 more authors.
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2016

Background: Aggressive behaviors are an integral part of competitive interactions. There is considerable variation in aggressiveness among individuals both within and among species. Aggressiveness is a quantitative trait that is highly heritable. In modern humans and macaques (Macaca spp.), variation in aggressiveness among individuals is associated with polymorphisms in the serotonergic (5-HT) neurotransmitter system. To further investigate the genetics underlying interspecific variation in aggressiveness, 123 wild individuals from five baboon species (Papio papio, P. hamadryas, P. anubis, P. cynocephalus, and P. ursinus) were screened for two polymorphisms in promoter regions of genes relevant for the 5-HT system (5-HTTLPR and MAOALPR). Results: Surprisingly, despite considerable interspecific variation in aggressiveness, baboons are monomorphic in 5-HTTLPR, except for P. hamadryas, which carries one additional allele. Accordingly, this locus cannot be linked to behavioral variation among species. A comparison among 19 papionin species, including nine species of macaques, shows that the most common baboon allele is similar to the one described for Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus), probably representing the ancestral allele in this tribe. It should be noted that (almost) all baboons live in Africa, but within Macaca only M. sylvanus lives on this continent. Baboons are, however, highly polymorphic in the so-called 'warrior gene' MAOALPR, carrying three alleles. Due to considerable variation in allele frequencies among populations of the same species, this genotype cannot be invoked to explain variation in aggressiveness at the species level. Conclusions: This study provides another indication that 5-HTTLPR is not related to aggressiveness in primates per se, but may have been under differential selective pressures among taxa and potentially among populations in different geographic regions. The results on MAOALPR alleles in Papio indicate that variation in the metabolism of monoamine neurotransmitters and associated behaviors is more important among populations than among species. We, therefore, propose to compile behavioral data from additional populations of Papio to obtain further insight into the genetics underlying behavioral differences among primate species. © 2016 The Author(s). Source

Butynski T.M.,Lolldaiga Hills Research Programme | De Jong Y.A.,Lolldaiga Hills Research Programme
Primate Conservation | Year: 2015

The Mount Kilimanjaro guereza Colobus guereza caudatus is considered to be endemic to northeast Tanzania. This paper presents the first records for C. g. caudatus in Kenya, describes the distribution of this subspecies, and assesses its conservation status. In September 2014, we found C. g. caudatus in southeast Kenya in Kitobo Forest Reserve (1.6 km2) and Loitokitok Forest Reserve (4.2 km2). This subspecies has an altitudinal range of c. 660-3,050 m asl and an 'Extent of Occurrence' of c. 4,040 km2. These findings are important as they: (1) add one subspecies of primate to Kenya's primate list; (2) remove one endemic subspecies of primate from Tanzania's primate list; (3) establish C. g. caudatus as the most threatened primate subspecies in Kenya; (4) change the priorities for actions necessary to maintain Kenya's primate diversity; and (5) indicate that detailed biodiversity surveys within Kitobo Forest and Loitokitok Forest are likely to yield new data crucial to the conservation of biodiversity in southeast Kenya. Source

Butynski T.M.,Lolldaiga Hills Research Programme | De Jong Y.A.,Lolldaiga Hills Research Programme
Primate Conservation | Year: 2014

Maintenance of the diversity of primates depends not only on the conservation of protected areas, but also on the conservation of areas that lack formal protection and are occupied by people, crops, and/or livestock. Livestock rangelands, when well-managed, can support viable populations of primates. This article describes (1) the primate community in the rangeland agroecosystem of Laikipia County, central Kenya, (2) how primates use this agroecosystem, (3) the importance of this agroecosystem to the primates of Laikipia, and (4) the threats to these primates. Patas monkeys Erythrocebus patas, olive baboons Papio anubis, vervet monkeys Chlorocebus pygerythrus, and northern lesser galagos Galago senegalensis in the Laikipia rangeland agroecosystem benefit from man-made perennial water sources, habitat protection, reduced large predator densities, and an array of research and conservation activities. The level of conflict between humans and non-human primates in this rangeland agroecosystem is low relative to that in neighboring cropland agroecosystems. The main threats are habitat fragmentation, degradation and loss, and the decline of perennial water sources. Hunting is not a serious threat to primates in Laikipia. Erythrocebus patas is the most threatened primate in Laikipia and the one least tolerant of humans and habitat degradation and loss. Habitat conservation in Laikipia should focus on water-associated vegetation types and the adjacent whistling thorn Acacia drepanolobium woodlands, particularly along the Ewaso N'yiro River and its major tributaries. Source

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