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Abstract. The small group of wolves on Isle Royale has been studied for over three decades as a model of the relationship between large carnivores and their prey. During the last ten years the population declined from 50 individuals to as few as 12 individuals. The causes of this decline may be food shortages, disease, or reduced genetic variability. We address the issues of genetic variability and relationships of Isle Royale wolves using allozyme electrophoresis, mtDNA restriction-site analysis, and multilocus hypervariable minisatellite DNA analysis (genetic fingerprinting). Our results indicate that approximately 50% of the allozyme heterozygosity has been lost in the island population, a decline similar to that expected if no immigration had occurred from the mainland. The genetic fingerprinting data indicate that the seven sampled Isle Royale wolves are as similar as captive populations of siblings. Surprisingly, the Isle Royale wolves have an mDNA genotype that is very rare on the mainland, being found in only one of 144 mainland wolves ThFF suggests that the remaining Isle Royale wolves areprobably derived from a single female founder

Resumen: Elpequetio grupo de lobos de la Isla Royale ha sido estudiado por mds de tres decadas como un modelo de las relaciones entre grandes carniyoros y su presa Durante los ultimos diez anos la poblacidn disminuyd de 5o individuos a tan sdlo 12 individuos La causa de esta disminucidn puede ser debida a la escasez de comidq a las enfermedades oa la reducida variabilidad gatica Nosohw tratamos el aspecto de la variabilidad genetica y las relaciones con los lobos de la Isla Royale utilirando la electmforksis con aloenzimas, el atadisis restringido a mtD y el andisis de hipetvariable multilocus minisatelite DNA (huellas geneticas). Nuestros resultados indican que aproximadamente el 50% de la heterozigosis de la aloenrima ha sidoperdida en lapoblacidn de la is esta es una disminucidn similar a la que se esperaria si no hubiese habido inmigracidn de la tierra firme. Los datos de las huellas geneticas indican que los siete lobos muestreados en la Isla Royale son tan parecidos entresi como las poblaciones de bermanos en cautiverio. Sorprendentemente los lobos de la Isla Rqyale tienen un genotipo mtDNA que es muy ram en tierra firme habiendo sido encontrado en sdlamente uno de wolves have an mDNA genotype that is very rare on the mainland, being found in only one of 144 mainland wolves ThFF suggests that the remaining Isle Royale wolves areprobably derived from a single female founder los 151 lobos de tierra film. Esto sugiem qwes pmbabla que los lobos que quedan en la Isla Royale se hayan derivado de urn sola hembra fundadma.