Conservation Genetics

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 55–63

Genetic characterization of populations of the golden jackal and the red fox in Israel

Authors

  • Tali Magory Cohen
    • The Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentThe Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Roni King
    • Nature and Parks Authority
  • Amit Dolev
    • Israel Mammal Research CentreThe Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel
  • Amitzur Boldo
    • Nature and Parks Authority
  • Anat Lichter-Peled
    • The Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentThe Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    • The Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentThe Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10592-012-0423-1

Cite this article as:
Magory Cohen, T., King, R., Dolev, A. et al. Conserv Genet (2013) 14: 55. doi:10.1007/s10592-012-0423-1

Abstract

The golden jackal and red fox are among the wildlife species protected by Israeli law as enforced by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. In 1964, as a part of a management program to control rabies in Israel, a poison eradication campaign was launched to exterminate golden jackals, considered to be the main reservoir of the disease. The program resulted in the near-complete extermination of jackals in Israel, while foxes were only mildly affected. Jackals have since regained their original numbers and have recolonized southern Israel. We here examined the population structure of the golden jackal and red fox in Israel, 48 years after the poison eradication campaign. DNA from 88 golden jackals and 89 red foxes representing five different geographic regions was extracted and amplified at 13 microsatellite loci in order to characterize the populations on a genetic level. High genetic diversity was found among the jackal and fox populations. A possible migration route through the Jordan Rift Valley was suggested for both species by the genetic similarity of populations in northern and southern Israel. However, in both species, the animals from the center of Israel were distinctive from those north or south, indicating the relative isolation of central populations, likely due to fragmentation or a high abundance of food resources. Genetic profiles obtained for the golden jackal and the red fox in Israel may aid in their conservation management and in the study of zoonotic diseases.

Keywords

Golden jackalRed foxPopulation geneticsMicrosatellites

Supplementary material

10592_2012_423_MOESM1_ESM.doc (406 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 406 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012