News from IBE (CSIC-UPF)
The extinct butterfly Melanargia russiae could fly again in Hungary. Scientists have analysed mitochondrial DNA data of this butterfly from over 100-year-old specimens from extinct Hungarian populations were stored in museum collections. The results of this research, published in the journal Conservation Biology with the participation of IBE researchers Vlad Dinca and Roger Vila, concluded that the current Melanargia populations that are more similar to the Hungarian (extinct) ones are from the Eurasian lineage, specially from eastern Ukraine (since they are genetically close and living in areas with the highest climatic similarity). Therefore these should be the ones used to reintroduce this species in Hungary, a plan approved in 2016 by the nature conservation authorities.
Conservation aims to prevent loss of species, their genetic diversity and habitats. Increasingly, the introduction of species that are locally or globally extinct in the wild is taking place, with varying success. This study gives some insights that could help the success of this reintroduction – Carlos Sierra/PRBB
IBE (CSIC-UPF) website