The occurrence of black-coated individuals in wolf populations is not surprising in itself, but their presence in populations recovering from severe numerical decline has been considered a possible sign of crossbreeding with the domestic dog. In the northern Apennines (Italy), black wolves occur at a non-negligible frequency. In a 3300 km2 area, 22% of wolves observed and 23% of all dead wolves found were represented by animals with a completely black coat. One ‘black’ wolf belonging to the studied population was analysed by a set of microsatellites loci, and no trace of hybridization was found in its ancestry. This result induced us to consider the occurrence of a black phenotype in this area possibly derived from a natural combination of wolf alleles in coat colour determining genes, and not necessarily as the result of crossbreeding with the domestic form.

Occurrence of black wolves in the Northern Apennines, Italy / Apollonio, Marco; Mattioli, L; Scandura, Massimo. - In: ACTA THERIOLOGICA. - ISSN 0001-7051. - 49:(2004), pp. 281-285.

Occurrence of black wolves in the Northern Apennines, Italy

APOLLONIO, Marco;SCANDURA, Massimo
2004

Abstract

The occurrence of black-coated individuals in wolf populations is not surprising in itself, but their presence in populations recovering from severe numerical decline has been considered a possible sign of crossbreeding with the domestic dog. In the northern Apennines (Italy), black wolves occur at a non-negligible frequency. In a 3300 km2 area, 22% of wolves observed and 23% of all dead wolves found were represented by animals with a completely black coat. One ‘black’ wolf belonging to the studied population was analysed by a set of microsatellites loci, and no trace of hybridization was found in its ancestry. This result induced us to consider the occurrence of a black phenotype in this area possibly derived from a natural combination of wolf alleles in coat colour determining genes, and not necessarily as the result of crossbreeding with the domestic form.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11388/79875
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