An evaluation of genetic analyses, skull morphology and visual appearance for assessing dingo purity: implications for dingo conservation

Elledge, Amanda E., Allen, Lee R., Carlsson, Britt-Louise, Wilton, Alan N. and Leung, Luke K.-P. (2008) An evaluation of genetic analyses, skull morphology and visual appearance for assessing dingo purity: implications for dingo conservation. Wildlife Research, 35 8: 812-820.


Author Elledge, Amanda E.
Allen, Lee R.
Carlsson, Britt-Louise
Wilton, Alan N.
Leung, Luke K.-P.
Title An evaluation of genetic analyses, skull morphology and visual appearance for assessing dingo purity: implications for dingo conservation
Journal name Wildlife Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1035-3712
1448-5494
Publication date 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/WR07056
Volume 35
Issue 8
Start page 812
End page 820
Total pages 9
Editor Camilla Myers
Place of publication East Melbourne, Vic.
Publisher CSIRO
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject C1
060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
Abstract The introgression of domestic dog genes into dingo populations threatens the genetic integrity of ‘pure’ dingoes. However, dingo conservation efforts are hampered by difficulties in distinguishing between dingoes and hybrids in the field. This study evaluates consistency in the status of hybridisation (i.e. dingo, hybrid or dog) assigned by genetic analyses, skull morphology and visual assessments. Of the 56 south-east Queensland animals sampled, 39 (69.6%) were assigned the same status by all three methods, 10 (17.9%) by genetic and skull methods, four (7.1%) by genetic and visual methods; and two (3.6%) by skull and visual methods. Pair-wise comparisons identified a significant relationship between genetic and skull methods, but not between either of these and visual methods. Results from surveying 13 experienced wild dog managers showed that hybrids were more easily identified by visual characters than were dingoes. A more reliable visual assessment can be developed through determining the relationship between (1) genetics and phenotype by sampling wild dog populations and (2) the expression of visual characteristics from different proportions and breeds of domestic dog genes by breeding trials. Culling obvious hybrids based on visual characteristics, such as sable and patchy coat colours, should slow the process of hybridisation.
Keyword CANIS-FAMILIARIS
TAXONOMIC STATUS
WILD CANIDS
IDENTITY
DOG
HYBRIDIZATION
AUSTRALIA
DOMESTICATION
REPEATS
GENOME
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
 
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