Conservation Genetics

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 743–747 | Cite as

Molecular evidence for historic long-distance translocations of brown bears in the Balkan region

  • Carsten Nowak
  • Csaba Domokos
  • Aleksandar Dutsov
  • Christiane Frosch
Short Communication

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that brown bears were translocated from the Romanian Carpathians to Bulgaria via air transportation during the communist regime in the 1970s and 1980s. Microsatellite analysis was performed on 199 bear samples from Bulgaria and Romania. Assignment and admixture tests revealed the existence of seven genotypes (=2.8 %) in Bulgaria that were assigned with high probabilities to the Romanian population, supporting the translocation and successful establishment of Carpathian bears in Bulgaria. While we cannot rule out the possibility that active long-distance dispersal contributed to the observed pattern, the spatial distribution and sex ratio of the detected Romanian genotypes strongly favor the translocation hypothesis.

Keywords

Ursus arctos Large carnivores Balkan Assignment test Bear conservation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carsten Nowak
    • 1
  • Csaba Domokos
    • 2
  • Aleksandar Dutsov
    • 3
  • Christiane Frosch
    • 1
  1. 1.Conservation Genetics GroupSenckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum FrankfurtGelnhausenGermany
  2. 2.Milvus Group - Bird and Nature Protection AssociationTârgu MureşRomania
  3. 3.Balkani Wildlife SocietySofiaBulgaria

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