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Human impact has contributed to the decline of the Eurasion lynx

Disentangling the contribution of long?term evolutionary processes and recent anthropogenic impacts to current genetic patterns of wildlife species is key to assessing genetic risks and designing conservation strategies. Eighty whole nuclear genomes and 96 mitogenomes from populations of the Eurasian lynx covering a range of conservation statuses, climatic zones and subspecies across Eurasia were used to infer the demographic history, reconstruct genetic patterns, and discuss the influence of long?term isolation and more recent human?driven changes. Results show that Eurasian lynx populations shared a common history until 100,000 years ago, when Asian and European populations started to diverge and both entered a period of continuous and widespread decline, with western populations, except Kirov (Russia), maintaining lower effective sizes than eastern populations. Population declines and increased isolation in more recent times probably drove the genetic differentiation between geographically and ecologically close westernmost European populations. By contrast, and despite the wide range of habitats covered, populations are quite homogeneous genetically across the Asian range, showing a pattern of isolation by distance and providing little genetic support for the several proposed subspecies. Mitogenomic and nuclear divergences and population declines starting during the Late Pleistocene can be mostly attributed to climatic fluctuations and early human influence, but the widespread and sustained decline since the Holocene is more probably the consequence of anthropogenic impacts which intensified in recent centuries, especially in western Europe. Genetic erosion in isolated European populations and lack of evidence for long?term isolation argue for the restoration of lost population connectivity between European and Asian poulations. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Lucena-Perez et al (2020). Genomic patterns in the widespread Eurasian lynx shaped by Late Quaternary climatic fluctuations and anthropogenic impacts. MOL ECOL 29(4) DOI 10.1111/mec.15366


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/mec.15366
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Large carnivore damage in Europe: Analysis of compensation and prevention programs

Large carnivore damage in Europe: Analysis of compensation and prevention programs

The mitigation of conflicts associated with large carnivore damage to livestock and agriculture is pivotal to their conservation. Current programs to compensate and prevent large carnivore damage in 27 European countries and the factors related to the economic costs of these programs are evaluated here. Overall, high compensation costs are associated with free-ranging livestock (68% of total costs) and with national economic wealth. Contrary to general belief, the return of large carnivores does not always translate into higher compensation costs. This study identifies a tendency towards prioritizing compensation over prevention; only a few wealthy countries pay the majority of the money allocated for prevention programs to adapt husbandry practices to the presence of large carnivores. Results show that programs mainly focused on paying large compensation amounts will often fail to build tolerance towards predators. To mitigate conflicts and optimize the cost-effectiveness of publicly funded measures, responsible agencies should be proactive, focus on prevention-based policies and periodically evaluate the effectiveness of compensation and prevention programs in an adaptive manner. With this purpose and to identify further solutions for conflict mitigation, a pan-European database of damage occurrence, management actions and associated costs is called for. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Bautista et al (2019) Large carnivore damage in Europe: analysis of compensation and prevention policies. Biol Conserv https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2019.04.019


https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320718314423