Ancient Mitogenomes from Oregon Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris): Genetic and Archaeological Contributions to the Historical Ecology of an Extirpated Population
This is an abstract from the "Zooarchaeology and Technology: Case Studies and Applications" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) was nearly driven to extinction on the Pacific Coast in the 19th century due to the commercial maritime fur trade. Despite successful reintroduction efforts in North America, the Oregon sea otter population remains locally extirpated and endangered. Prior studies have used precontact and modern sea otter phenotypic and genetic analyses to compare ancient Oregon and modern California and Alaska otters, suggesting sea otter groupings vary along the Northwest Coast. To further address the complex and environmentally important issue of the historical ecology of Northwest Coast sea otters we expand upon previous genetic studies by generating complete mitogenomes from ancient Oregon sea otters and present new data on their mitogenome diversity compared to modern otters from Japan to California. Preliminary analysis of sea otters from two archaeological sites in northern Oregon suggests this ancient population is more closely related to modern Alaska sea otters than the modern California sea otters. By applying genetic analyses to zooarchaeological remains we contribute to the historical ecology of sea otters in Oregon and demonstrate the relevance of archaeological remains to conservation biology decisions for species at risk as part of interdisciplinary projects.
Cite this Record
Ancient Mitogenomes from Oregon Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris): Genetic and Archaeological Contributions to the Historical Ecology of an Extirpated Population. Hannah Wellman, Rita Austin, Nihan Kilic, Madonna Moss, Courtney Hofman. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450732)
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North America: Pacific Northwest Coast and Plateau
Abstract Id(s): 23879