Human activities are having increasingly devastating effects on the health of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Studying the adaptive responses of animal species to changes in their habitat can be useful in mitigating this impact. Vultures represent one of the most virtuous examples of adap-tation to human-induced environmental changes. Once dependent on wild ungulate populations, these birds have adapted to the epochal change resulting from the birth of agriculture and livestock domestication, maintaining their essential role as ecological scavengers. In this review, we retrace the main splitting events characterising the vultures’ evolution, with particular emphasis on the Eurasian griffon Gyps fulvus. We summarise the main ecological and behavioural traits of this species, highlighting its vulnerability to elements introduced into the habitat by humans. We collected the genetic information available to date, underlining their importance for improving the management of this species, as an essential tool to support restocking practices and to protect the genetic integrity of G. fulvus. Finally, we examine the difficulties in implementing a coordination system that allows genetic information to be effectively transferred into management programs. Until a linking network is established between scientific research and management practices, the risk of losing important wildlife resources remains high.

Anthropogenic drivers leading to population decline and genetic preservation of the eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) / Pirastru, Monica; Mereu, Paolo; Manca, Laura; Bebbere, Daniela; Naitana, Salvatore; Leoni, Giovanni G.. - In: LIFE. - ISSN 2075-1729. - (2021). [10.3390/life11101038]

Anthropogenic drivers leading to population decline and genetic preservation of the eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus)

Monica Pirastru;Paolo Mereu
;
Laura Manca;Daniela Bebbere;Salvatore Naitana;Giovanni G. Leoni
2021

Abstract

Human activities are having increasingly devastating effects on the health of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Studying the adaptive responses of animal species to changes in their habitat can be useful in mitigating this impact. Vultures represent one of the most virtuous examples of adap-tation to human-induced environmental changes. Once dependent on wild ungulate populations, these birds have adapted to the epochal change resulting from the birth of agriculture and livestock domestication, maintaining their essential role as ecological scavengers. In this review, we retrace the main splitting events characterising the vultures’ evolution, with particular emphasis on the Eurasian griffon Gyps fulvus. We summarise the main ecological and behavioural traits of this species, highlighting its vulnerability to elements introduced into the habitat by humans. We collected the genetic information available to date, underlining their importance for improving the management of this species, as an essential tool to support restocking practices and to protect the genetic integrity of G. fulvus. Finally, we examine the difficulties in implementing a coordination system that allows genetic information to be effectively transferred into management programs. Until a linking network is established between scientific research and management practices, the risk of losing important wildlife resources remains high.
Anthropogenic drivers leading to population decline and genetic preservation of the eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) / Pirastru, Monica; Mereu, Paolo; Manca, Laura; Bebbere, Daniela; Naitana, Salvatore; Leoni, Giovanni G.. - In: LIFE. - ISSN 2075-1729. - (2021). [10.3390/life11101038]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11388/283414
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