Navigation Links
Study: Wild Cuban crocodiles hybridize with American crocs
Date:6/22/2011

NEW YORK (June 22, 2011) A new genetic study by a team of Cuban and American researchers confirms that American crocodiles are hybridizing with wild populations of critically endangered Cuban crocodiles, which may cause a population decline of this species found only in the Cuban Archipelago.

Cuban crocodiles and American crocodiles have been confirmed to interbreed in captivity and were suspected to hybridize in the wild. This is the first genetic study that confirms wild hybridization.

The study, which appears in the spring issue of the Journal of Experimental Zoology, is by Yoamel Milin-Garca of the University of Havana; Miryam Venegas-Anaya of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Roberto Frias-Soler of the University of Havana; Andrew Crawford of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Roberto Ramos-Targarona, Roberto Rodrguez-Sobern, and Manuel Alonso-Tabet of Empresa Nacional para la Proteccin de la Flora y la Fauna; the late John Thorbjarnarson of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Oris I. Sanjur of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Georgina Espinosa-Lpez of the University of Havana; and Eldredge Bermingham of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Known for their leaping ability and aggressive disposition, Cuban crocs are a charismatic and culturally significant species to Cuba. Exact population estimates for the species remain unknown, though scientists believe that a minimum of 3,000 individuals remain in the Zapata swamp. A smaller population exists in the Lanier Swamp on the Island of Youth. The species was extensively hunted from the middle of the 19th century through the 1960s resulting in drastic population declines.

The team collected and analyzed DNA from 89 wild-caught Cuban and American crocodiles in the wild and two samples from crocodiles in zoos.

The genetic data produced an unsuspected result: American crocodiles in Cuba are more closely related to Cuban crocodiles than other American crocodile populations found along mainland Central America. The study found just a 1 percent genetic sequence divergence between Cuban crocodiles and American crocodiles in Cuba yet an 8 percent divergence between American crocodiles in Cuba and other American crocodile populations living in mainland Central America.

This finding indicates that Cuban crocodiles and American crocodiles in Cuba may represent two evolutionary significant units (ESU's) populations considered distinct for conservation purposes and represent an important component of the evolutionary legacy of the species.

The team collected and analyzed DNA from 89 wild-caught Cuban and American crocodiles in the wild and two samples from crocodiles in zoos.

The authors say that hybridization may be one of the most important threats to Cuban crocodiles, along with illegal hunting and habitat modification. Hybridization can result in both replacement and genetic mixing, and one lineage may cause the extinction of another.

Based on evidence of hybridization between the two species, the authors strongly urge that efforts to avoid anthropogenic causes of hybridization be taken into account for future management plans of Cuban crocodiles.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Smithsonian study: Stranding records are faithful reflection of live whale and dolphin populations
2. Study: Biodegradable products may be bad for the environment
3. MIT Study: conventional fossil fuels sometimes greener than biofuels
4. Study: Pace of brain development still strong in late teens
5. Study: Rare deep-sea starfish stuck in juvenile body plan
6. U of I study: Before you start bone-building meds, try dietary calcium and supplements
7. Study: Reasonable quantities of red pepper may help curb appetite
8. VIMS study: Propeller turbulence may affect marine food webs
9. Study: Algae could replace 17 percent of US oil imports
10. Study: Emissions trading doesnt cause pollution hot spots
11. Nature study: Jefferson researchers unravel proteins elusive role in embryo and disease development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study: Wild Cuban crocodiles hybridize with American crocs 
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 According to a new market ... Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, ... Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to ... of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... -- NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards and ... furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief Executive Officer ... guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as we move ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS The ... at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period ... primary factor for the growth of the stem cell ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market ... and geography. The stem cell market of the product ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... USDM ... firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, is honored that Jay ... Medical Devices conference in Brussels, Belgium. , Crowley played a crucial role in ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 17, 2017 , ... ... construction, announced today that their Chief Executive Officer, Maik Jornitz, was recognized as ... UK publication’s Power List celebrates 100 individuals “involved in bettering the pharma industry ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... Boston, MA (PRWEB) , ... May 18, 2017 , ... When James Sherley, was notified ... the 50 Most Valuable Brands for the Year 2017 by The Silicon Review , ... had been making good progress increasing Asymmetrex’s value, but this recognition by Silicon Valley was ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... May 16, 2017 , ... ... its new ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenomic deconvolution service. ProxiMeta enables researchers to obtain ... DNA extraction—speeding research insights at lower cost. , “We’re very excited about ...
Breaking Biology Technology: