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Chapter 1 - Systematics, Evolution, and Genetics of Bears

from Part I - Systematics, Ecology, and Behavior

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 November 2020

Vincenzo Penteriani
Spanish Council of Scientific Research (CSIC)
Mario Melletti
WPSG (Wild Pig Specialist Group) IUCN SSC
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Molecular genetics are key to understanding current and historical relationships between isolated populations, including species’ colonizations during glacial–interglacial cycles, to determine viability of local populations, needs for habitat corridors, and other aspects of population management, especially where bears are harvested for sport, etc. As natural habitats shrink, some bear species will inevitably require high levels of management, perhaps combining captive and wild populations following the IUCN’s One Plan Approach. In this chapter we review the systematics of the Ursidae and its relationships with other Carnivora, the molecular phylogenetic of extant ursid species, the phylogeography of and morphological variation within each species, and the use of molecular genetics to monitor bear populations for management and conservation.

Bears of the World
Ecology, Conservation and Management
, pp. 3 - 20
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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