Genetic variation in black bears in Arkansas and Louisiana using microsatellite DNA markers

Journal of Mammalogy
By: , and 



In the 1950s and 1960s, translocation projects reintroduced black bears (Ursus americanus) from Minnesota and Manitoba to Arkansas and Louisiana. Today, several geographically disconnected populations exist in Arkansas and Louisiana, but their origins are unclear. Some populations may represent a separate subspecies, U. a. luteolus, which is federally protected. We characterized 5 microsatellite loci in 5 isolated populations in Arkansas and Louisiana and compared them with genotypes from Minnesota. Our data indicate that bears of the Ozark and Ouachita mountains of Arkansas, an inland area of Louisiana, and those of Minnesota are similar in overall genetic diversity and allele frequencies, consistent with these populations being wholly or mostly descended from bears from the reintroduction programs. In contrast, bears from southeastern Arkansas and the coastal region of Louisiana genetically are more restricted and homogeneous. Because they exhibit a limited set of genotypes found in the other black bear populations, they represent isolated fragments of a single North American black bear population. Furthermore, genetic distance estimates indicate that the bears in southeastern Arkansas are more genetically distinct from bears in Louisiana, which are currently federally protected.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Genetic variation in black bears in Arkansas and Louisiana using microsatellite DNA markers
Series title Journal of Mammalogy
DOI 10.1644/1545-1542(2003)084<0691:GVIBBI>2.0.CO;2
Volume 84
Issue 2
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher American Society of Mammalogists
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 11 p.
First page 691
Last page 701
Country United States
State Arkansas, Louisiana
County Pointe Coupee Parish
Other Geospatial Ouachita national forest, Ozark national forest, White River National Wildlife Refuge
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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