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Thread: Interesting Article about Genetics and Moose

  1. #1

    Default Interesting Article about Genetics and Moose

    I thought this was an interesting article about the genetics of moose in the Ship Creek, Elmendorf-Richardson Joint Base Area. Looks like the fences along the Glenn highway are causing inbreeding of a small population of moose and their genetics are being influenced. The differences are subtle right now, but I wonder what they'll look in 10, 20, 30 years down the road. Might have some strange looking mutant moose being produced down by the base.

    http://www.adn.com/article/20150214/...-glenn-highway

  2. #2
    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I hunt a population of moose that is completely isolated. They have been inbred for a long time. They are not mutated in any way, although it seems they don't grow as large of antlers as other populations.
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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Like an island....a little one....lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    I hunt a population of moose that is completely isolated. They have been inbred for a long time. They are not mutated in any way, although it seems they don't grow as large of antlers as other populations.
    Care to elaborate some more specifics? What do you mean by "completely" isolated. Is it on an island VERY far away from the mainland like Kodiak? If it is somewhat close to the mainland like Fire Island, I'm sure it's not "completely" isolated. Moose can swim a long ways if they want too. Obviously the island got moose on there some how. There are other cases of moose swimming to islands like Isle Royale in Michigan. If it is an island, and assuming it is "completely" isolated like you say, how big is the population? Like Brwnbr said, it would have to be a pretty small island (and population) for the gene pool to be significantly affected. If the island and population was big enough, it might not be affected.

    This is a phenomenon sometimes referred to as the Founder Affect.

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    Kalgin Island. No moose are swimming there. It's a small island. Adfg planted moose there a long time ago
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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I was hinting at kalgin island....
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    Kalgin Island. No moose are swimming there. It's a small island. Adfg planted moose there a long time ago
    Well that's interesting. Thanks for sharing. Perhaps the island and population is significantly large enough that the gene pool hasn't experienced any detrimental affects yet. Since they haven't been there very long (late 1950's). I'd be willing to bet that's a ticking time bomb waiting to happen though. As soon as some major inheritable disease is introduced to the population on the island, it won't be long before a dramatic change will occur.

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    And West Icy Bay (Cape Yakutaga area) is also an 'landlocked island' where moose were transplanted yrs ago. No way to introduce new genetics unless they take some moose there.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    So the same should hold true for Etolin Elk. Probably is true with blacktails on Kodiak.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    So the same should hold true for Etolin Elk. Probably is true with blacktails on Kodiak.
    Both of those examples are fairly large islands with a large enough population to prevent too much close inbreeding from occurring. I don't know much about Etolin island, but isn't it fairly close to the mainland that some elk could swim back in forth? However, I do recall reading about some weird mutations occurring in deer on Kodiak with undescended testicles and bucks with unusual racks etc. Not sure if they know what the cause is, but I would suspect it has something to do with inbreeding.

  11. #11

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    We use to hunt an area that had some genetic issues. My brother tipped a spike looking moose that had what i called rubber antennas and huge bases and no nuts. I shot a bull that was over 50 and had 4.5" width on the palms. Shot another moose that had 4x4 palmated brows that were way bigger than the palms. These moose are small bodied and never ended up with more than 400lbs of meat.

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