Biology Faculty Articles

Title

Molecular Genetic Evidence for Social Group Disruption of Wild Vicuñas Vicugna vicugna Captured for Wool Harvest in Chile

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2009

Publication Title

Small Ruminant Research

Keywords

Camelid, Capture, Microsatellites, Parentage, Ungulate, Vicuña

ISSN

0921-4488

Volume

84

Issue/No.

1-3

First Page

28

Last Page

34

Abstract

Since 1994 wild vicuñas have been captured and shorn for their wool, yet, there remains a noticeable lack of data regarding the possible influence of capture and shearing upon vicuña biology. Therefore, we assessed post-capture group composition, genetic relatedness, and paternity among animals that were captured for live shearing and release. We captured twenty-six groups (134 animals) on the Chilean Altiplano. Seventy-three percent of Male Groups (designated prior to chase) contained exclusively adult males upon capture, whereas remaining “Male Groups” contained crias and/or adult females and crias. Forty-seven percent of Family Groups (designated prior to chase) contained 1 adult male, adult females, and the number of crias ≤ the number of adult females. Remaining Family Groups contained no or multiple adult males, and more crias than adult females. Average relatedness among all vicuñas was −0.007. Paternity analysis revealed that 35% of crias were captured with their biological mother and that only 1 cria was captured with both biological parents. Based on previous observations of group composition in the wild, animals from different groups may separate and/or mix during the chasing stage. Improvement of the chasing technique and instituting a post-capture monitoring program may aid in the detection of medium- and long-term impacts regarding group stability, cria survival, and ultimately wool production.

Comments

©2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

ORCID ID

0000-0001-7353-8301

ResearcherID

N-1726-2015

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