Special Issue "Genetics and the Wolves: From Evolution to Conservation"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2023) | Viewed by 1612

Special Issue Editors

Science Unit, WWF Italia, Via Po 25c, 00198 Rome, Italy
Interests: conservation; genetics; genomics; adaptation; hybridization; human–wildlife conflict
Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA), Laboratorio di Genetica, Ozzano Dell'emilia, Italy
Interests: population genetics; genomics; hybridization; non-invasive monitoring; forensics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Wolf conservation worldwide is at a crossroads: on one side, endangered populations still struggle to survive, whereas many others are expanding after centuries of decline, challenging our ability to promote a sustainable coexistence with human activities.

In this context, the steep advances in genetics and genomic approaches provide unprecedented support to effectively monitor populations, reconstruct the phylogeny of related species, subspecies and populations, map evolutionarily important genetic variants associated with adaptive variation, identify even subtle traces of hybridization with domestic dogs and better reconstruct the long history of domestication. In this Special Issue, we seek to gather the most up-to-date studies on the genetics and genomics of this focal species, from both an evolutionary and conservation point of view, by inviting a wide range of paper submissions, including research papers, short notes and reviews.

Dr. Marco Galaverni
Dr. Romolo Caniglia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Canis lupus
  • genetics
  • genomics
  • conservation
  • evolution
  • adaptation
  • hybridization

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Article
How to Choose? Comparing Different Methods to Count Wolf Packs in a Protected Area of the Northern Apennines
Genes 2023, 14(4), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14040932 - 18 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1292
Abstract
Despite a natural rewilding process that caused wolf populations in Europe to increase and expand in the last years, human–wolf conflicts still persist, threatening the long-term wolf presence in both anthropic and natural areas. Conservation management strategies should be carefully designed on updated [...] Read more.
Despite a natural rewilding process that caused wolf populations in Europe to increase and expand in the last years, human–wolf conflicts still persist, threatening the long-term wolf presence in both anthropic and natural areas. Conservation management strategies should be carefully designed on updated population data and planned on a wide scale. Unfortunately, reliable ecological data are difficult and expensive to obtain and often hardly comparable through time or among different areas, especially because of different sampling designs. In order to assess the performance of different methods to estimate wolf (Canis lupus L.) abundance and distribution in southern Europe, we simultaneously applied three techniques: wolf howling, camera trapping and non-invasive genetic sampling in a protected area of the northern Apennines. We aimed at counting the minimum number of packs during a single wolf biological year and evaluating the pros and cons for each technique, comparing results obtained from different combinations of these three methods and testing how sampling effort may affect results. We found that packs’ identifications could be hardly comparable if methods were separately used with a low sampling effort: wolf howling identified nine, camera trapping 12 and non-invasive genetic sampling eight packs. However, increased sampling efforts produced more consistent and comparable results across all used methods, although results from different sampling designs should be carefully compared. The integration of the three techniques yielded the highest number of detected packs, 13, although with the highest effort and cost. A common standardised sampling strategy should be a priority approach to studying elusive large carnivores, such as the wolf, allowing for the comparison of key population parameters and developing shared and effective conservation management plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and the Wolves: From Evolution to Conservation)
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