Preliminary assessment of genetic diversity and population connectivity of the Mugger Crocodile in Iran

In: Amphibia-Reptilia
View More View Less
  • 1 CIBIO/InBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos da Universidade do Porto, R. Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
  • 2 Departamento de Biologia da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, Rua Campo Alegre, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
  • 3 Natural History Museum and Genetic Resources Bureau, Department of Environment, Tehran, Iran
  • 4 Head for Department of Environment office in Zabol city, Sistan & Baluchestan Province, Iran
  • 5 Department of Zoology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park 2006, South Africa

The Mugger Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) is a threatened reptile inhabiting the Indian Sub-continent and Western Asia. Despite its “Vulnerable” conservation status, data about population genetic structure and connectivity are unavailable. This study makes a preliminary assessment of the genetic diversity, population structure and habitat connectivity of C. palustris in Iran. Ten tissue samples collected along the Sarbaz-Bahukalat basins were analysed and a set of 12 microsatellites was genotyped. Genetic diversity indices were estimated and population substructuring was assessed through Bayesian clustering analysis. Potential connectivity was verified through Remote Sensing water indexes, further implemented in a circuit analysis. Low genetic diversity was observed (mean observed heterozygosity = 0.35; mean expected heterozygosity = 0.43) and no population structure was found (K = 1). Water index and circuit analysis suggested possible connection among sites. This study highlights the potential vulnerability of crocodile populations and the importance of habitat connectivity for their persistence in the arid regions of Iran.

  • Abtin E. (2012): Habitat suitability of Mugger Crocodile in Sarbaz River, Iran. Wildlife Mid. East 6: 5.

  • Campos J.C., Sillero N., Brito J.C. (2012): Normalized difference water indexes have dissimilar performances in detecting seasonal and permanent water in the Sahara-Sahel transition zone. J. Hydrol. 464-465: 438-446.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Da Silva A., Lenin J. (2010): Mugger crocodile Crocodylus palustris. In: Crocodiles. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, p.  94-98. Crocodile Specialist Group, Darwin, Australia.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Evanno G., Regnaut S., Goudet J. (2005): Detecting the number of clusters of individuals using the software STRUCTURE: a simulation study. Mol. Ecol. 14: 2611-2620.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Excoffier L., Lischer H.E.L. (2010): Arlequin suite ver 3.5: a new series of programs to perform population genetics analyses under Linux and Windows. Mol. Ecol. Resour. 10: 564-567.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FitzSimmons N.N., Tanksley S., Forstner M.R., Louis E.E., Daglish R., Gratten J., Davis S. (2001): Microsatellite markers for Crocodylus: new genetic tools for population genetics, mating system studies and forensics. In: Crocodilian Biology and Evolution, p.  51-57. Grigg F., Seebacher F., Franklin C.E., Eds, Surrey Beatty, Chipping Norton, Australia.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frankham R. (2005): Genetics and extinction. Biol. Conserv. 126: 131-140.

  • Grigg G., Kirshner D. (2015): Biology and Evolution of Crocodylians, 1st Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Australia.

  • IUCN (2013): Crocodylus palustris. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. http://www.iucnredlist.org (Downloaded on 8 October 2016).

  • Kopelman N.M., Mayzel J., Jakobsson M., Rosenberg N.A., Mayrose I. (2015): Clumpak: a program for identifying clustering modes and packaging population structure inferences across K. Mol. Ecol. Resour. 15: 1179-1191.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McRae B.H. (2006): Isolation by resistance. Evolution 60: 1551-1561.

  • Miles L.G., Isberg S.R., Moran C., Hagen C., Glenn T.C. (2009): 253 novel polymorphic microsatellites for the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus). Conserv. Genet. 10: 963-980.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mobaraki A. (2002): Snub-nosed crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) study in Iran. In: Crocodiles. Proceedings of the 16th Working Meeting of the IUCNSSC Crocodile Specialist Group, p.  253-256. IUCN, Gland.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mobaraki A., Abtin E. (2007): Movement behavior of muggers, a potential threat. Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 26: 4.

  • Mobaraki A., Abtin E. (2010): Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) study in Iran. Wildlife Mid. East 5: 6.

  • Mobaraki A., Abtin E. (2013): Estimate of mugger population in Iran. Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 32: 21-22.

  • Mobaraki A., Abtin E., Mohammadi H., Hosseini A.A., Afsari K. (2013): Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) status and situation in Iran. In: Proceedings of the 22th Working Meeting of the IUCN SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, p.  215-218.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Oaks J.R. (2011): A time-calibrated species tree of Crocodylia reveals a recent radiation of the true crocodiles. Evolution 65: 3285-3297.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pal J.S., Eltahir E.A.B. (2015): Future temperature in southwest Asia projected to exceed a threshold for human adaptability. Nat. Clim. Change. DOI:10.1038/NCLIMATE2833.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pritchard J.K., Stephens M., Donnelly P. (2000): Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data. Genetics 155: 945-959.

  • Rad B.B., Abtin E., Mobaraki A. (2010): Mugger crocodile habitat suitability study, Sarbaz River, Iran. Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 29: 8-10.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rice W.R. (1989): Analyzing tables of statistical tests. Evolution 43: 223-225.

  • Santiapillai C., de Silva M. (2001): Status, distribution and conservation of crocodiles in Sri Lanka. Biol. Conserv. 97: 305-318.

  • Schuelke M. (2000): An economic method for the fluorescent labeling of PCR fragments. Nat. Biotechnol. 18: 233-234.

  • Trutnau L., Sommerlad R. (2006): Crocodilians. Their Natural History & Captive Husbandry, 1st Edition. Chimaera Frankfurt, Andreas S. Brahm, Germany.

  • Velo-Antón G., Godinho R., Campos J.C., Brito J.C. (2014): Should I stay or should I go? Dispersal and population structure in small, isolated desert populations of west African crocodiles. PLoS ONE 9 (4): e94626. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0094626.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whitaker R., Whitaker Z. (1984): Reproductive biology of the mugger. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 81: 297-316.

  • Whitaker R., Andrews H. (2003): Crocodile conservation, western Asia region: an update. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 100: 432-445.

  • Xu H. (2006): Modification of normalised difference water index (NDWI) to enhance open water features in remotely sensed imagery. Int. J. Remote Sens. 27: 3025-3033.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 358 204 8
Full Text Views 213 1 0
PDF Downloads 12 2 0