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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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Brown bear attacks on humans: a worldwide perspective

Brown bear attacks on humans: a worldwide perspective

Negative encounters with brown bears are rare and mainly non-fatal. This is the main finding of this study where the authors investigated more than 600 brown bear attacks on humans in 2000-2015 across the range inhabited by the species. Defensive behavior of females protecting their cubs was documented in the majority of the attacks. Half of the attacked people were engaged in leisure activities in nature, such as hiking and berry or antler picking. Other frequent scenarios were the result of inappropriate and risk-enhancing human behaviors (e.g. walking in natural areas with an unleashed dog, or chasing a wounded bear while hunting), and could be reduced by improving public education and awareness of the issue. Bear attacks were more frequent in remote areas with low density of people and high density of bears. Authors highlight the importance of educating the large public about how to behave properly in bear country to increase both human and bear safety, as well as to promote coexistence. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Bombieri et al (2019) Brown bear attacks on humans: a worldwide perspective. Sci Rep https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44341-w


https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44341-w