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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

versión On-line ISSN 2007-8706versión impresa ISSN 1870-3453


ZAVALA-PARAMO, Alfonso Sinuhé et al. Genetic variability in captive individuals of the endangered species Tapirus bairdii in Mexico. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2017, vol.88, n.2, pp.480-484. ISSN 2007-8706.

The Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is the largest terrestrial mammal dwelling in the neotropics and the only native representative of the order Perissodactyla. This species is under a great threat due to the impacts of hunting and habitat loss. Therefore, implementation of conservation strategies, in situ and ex situ, is urgent. However, to improve effectiveness of these strategies knowledge of the species level of genetic variability is needed. We collected samples (hair, feces and blood) from T. bairdii individuals kept in captivity in 4 zoos in Mexico and the field (feces) to extract DNA. We analyzed tapir levels of genetic variability focusing on a 511 bp region of the mtDNA D-loop and a set of 6 microsatellite loci. We found a relatively low allelic richness Rs = 3.94 but a relatively high frequency of private alleles (6 out of 24) and a variability of mother lines higher than reported in other studies (7 haplotypes with 15 polymorphic sites, Hd = 0.846 and Pi = 0.0128). Our results suggest that there might be a relatively high genetic diversity in tapir population inhabiting southern Mexico.

Palabras llave : Mammal conservation; Genetic variability; Conservation genetics; Perissodactyla; Mitochondrial D-loop.

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