Using molecular markers and PCB analysis to infer the origin of the otter (Lutra lutra) found on the Knardijk, the Netherlands, in 1998

H.A.H. Jansman, J.J.A. Dekker, B. van Hattum, P.E.G. Leonards, S. Broekhuizen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

It is presumed that the otter (Lutra lutra) became extinct in the Netherlands in 1988. Since then much effort has been made to restore the freshwater habitat aiming for a return of this top-predator. In 1998 from the central part of the Netherlands an otter was reported as a traffic casualty. It was not known if this individual was a rudiment of the original Dutch population or if it had escaped from the European otter breeding programme. To infer its origin, samples were taken for PCB and DNA analysis. Microsatellite DNA analysis was used to study 81 otter samples from three populations in Europe and from the breeding programme, including this individual. Cluster analysis indicates that it is unlikely that this otter originated from the Dutch population and it was with high probability assigned to the breeding programme. The levels of PCBs found in the otter were in the same range as found in the last Dutch otters, but were also similar to levels found in a two years old otter that was born and died in captivity. This indicates that PCB levels are not always good indicators for discrimination between captive and wild otters
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
JournalLutra
Volume46
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Keywords

  • lutra
  • otters
  • traffic accidents
  • provenance trials
  • origin
  • polychlorinated biphenyls
  • dna
  • analytical methods
  • determination
  • netherlands
  • ecotoxicology
  • flevoland

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