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Estimation of breeding population size using DNA-based pedigree reconstruction in brown bears
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  • Michito Shimozuru,
  • Mina Jimbo,
  • Keisuke Adachi,
  • Kei Kawamura,
  • Yuri Shirane,
  • Yoshihiro Umemura,
  • Tsuyoshi Ishinazaka,
  • Masanao Nakanishi,
  • Mayu Kiyonari,
  • Masami Yamanaka,
  • Yukihiro Amagai,
  • Ayaho Ijuin,
  • Tomoki Sakiyama,
  • Shinsuke Kasai,
  • Takane Nose,
  • Masataka Shirayanagi,
  • Hifumi Tsuruga,
  • Tsutomu Mano,
  • Toshio Tsubota,
  • Keita Fukasawa,
  • Hiroyuki Uno
Michito Shimozuru
Hokkaido University
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Mina Jimbo
Hokkaido University
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Keisuke Adachi
Hokkaido University
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Kei Kawamura
Hokkaido University
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Yuri Shirane
Hokkaido University
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Yoshihiro Umemura
Shiretoko Nature Foundation
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Tsuyoshi Ishinazaka
Shiretoko Nature Foundation
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Masanao Nakanishi
Shiretoko Nature Foundation
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Mayu Kiyonari
Shiretoko Nature Foundation
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Masami Yamanaka
Shiretoko Nature Foundation
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Yukihiro Amagai
Shiretoko Nature Foundation
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Ayaho Ijuin
Shiretoko Nature Foundation
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Tomoki Sakiyama
Shiretoko Nature Foundation
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Shinsuke Kasai
Shiretoko Nature Foundation
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Takane Nose
Shiretoko Nature Foundation
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Masataka Shirayanagi
Shiretoko Nature Foundation
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Hifumi Tsuruga
Hokkaido Research Organisation
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Tsutomu Mano
Hokkaido Research Organisation
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Toshio Tsubota
Hokkaido University
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Keita Fukasawa
National Institute for Environmental Studies
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Hiroyuki Uno
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
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Abstract

Robust estimates of demographic parameters are critical for effective wildlife conservation and management, but are difficult to obtain for elusive species. We estimated the breeding and adult population sizes, as well as the minimum population size, in a high-density brown bear population on the Shiretoko Peninsula, in Hokkaido, Japan, using DNA-based pedigree reconstruction. A total of 1,288 individuals, collected in and around the Shiretoko Peninsula between 1998 and 2020, were genotyped at 21 microsatellite loci. Among them, 499 individuals were identified by intensive genetic sampling conducted in two consecutive years (2019 and 2020) mainly by noninvasive methods (e.g., hair and fecal DNA). Among them, both parents were assigned for 330 bears, and either maternity or paternity was assigned to 47 and 76 individuals, respectively. The subsequent pedigree reconstruction indicated a range of breeding and adult (≥4 years old) population sizes: 128–173 for female breeders and 66–91 male breeders, and 155–200 for female adults and 84–109 male adults. The minimum population size was estimated to be 449 (252 females and 197 males) in 2019. Long-term continuous genetic sampling prior to a short-term intensive survey would enable parentage to be identified in a population with a high probability, thus enabling reliable estimates of breeding population size for elusive species.
13 Apr 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
13 Apr 2022Submission Checks Completed
13 Apr 2022Assigned to Editor
20 Apr 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
05 Jun 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
14 Jun 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
19 Jul 20221st Revision Received
20 Jul 2022Submission Checks Completed
20 Jul 2022Assigned to Editor
20 Jul 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
27 Jul 2022Editorial Decision: Accept