Genetic Maps Help Conservation Managers Maintain Healthy Bears

College of Arts & Science
Jeff Sossamon,, 573-882-3346
News Source: 
MU News Bureau
Biological Sciences

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Last year, researchers at the University of Missouri published a study on genetic diversity in American black bears in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma and determined that conservation management is needed to maintain healthy populations in the region. Now, those scientists have expanded the study to include black bears throughout North America. They discovered that black bears in Alaska are more closely related to bears in the eastern regions of the U.S. and Canada than those located in western regions. Details from the study revealed ancient movement patterns of black bears and provide detailed “genetic maps” that could help conservation management officials maintain healthy bear populations throughout North America.

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