Archaeological mitogenomes illuminate the historical ecology of sea otters (Enhydra lutris) and the viability of reintroduction

Hannah Wellman, Rita Austin, Nihan Dagtas, Madonna Moss, Torben Rick & Courtney Hofman
Genetic analyses are an important contribution to wildlife reintroductions, particularly in the modern context of extirpations and ecological destruction. To address the complex historical ecology of the sea otter (Enhydra lutris) and its failed 1970s reintroduction to coastal Oregon, we compared mitochondrial genomes of pre-extirpation Oregon sea otters to extant and historical populations across the range. We sequenced the first complete ancient mitogenomes from archaeological Oregon sea otter dentine and historical sea otter dental calculus....
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