Data from: Incidence of multiple paternity and inbreeding in high-density brown bear populations on the Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan
Shimozuru, Michito et al. (2019), Data from: Incidence of multiple paternity and inbreeding in high-density brown bear populations on the Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.db8853f
Understanding the breeding ecology of a species is essential for the appropriate conservation and management of wildlife. In brown bears, females occasionally copulate with multiple males in one breeding season, which may lead to multiple paternity in a single litter. In contrast, inbreeding, a potential factor in the reduction of genetic diversity, may occur, particularly in threatened populations. However, few studies have reported the frequency of these phenomena in brown bear populations. Here, we investigated the incidence of multiple paternity and inbreeding in a high-density brown bear population on the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido, Japan. A total of 837 individuals collected from 1998 to 2017 were genotyped at 21 microsatellite loci, and parentage analysis was performed. Out of 70–82 litters with ≥2 offspring, 14.6–17.1% of litters were sired by multiple males. This was comparable to the rate reported in a Scandinavian population, although population density and litter size, factors that potentially affect the incidence of multiple paternity, differed between the two populations. Out of 222 mother-father mating pairs, six litters (2.7%) resulted from matings between fathers and daughters. Additionally, one (0.5%) and four (1.8%) cases of mating between maternal half-siblings and between paternal half-siblings, respectively, were observed; however, no cases of mating between mothers and sons or between full-siblings were observed. Our results suggest that male-biased natal dispersal effectively limits mating between closely related individuals (aside from fathers and daughters) in brown bears.