The study presented in this paper explored how people in South Greenland perceive their future pr ... Læs mere
The study presented in this paper explored how people in South Greenland perceive their future prospects and the role of mining in this regard. This region hosts two important mining projects still in relatively early stages. The study further investigated how mining projects influence local decisions about individual and community development. The study is based on qualitative interviews with people from the towns of Narsaq and Qaqortoq and from a sheep farm near Narsaq, during a fieldtrip in May 2017. The authors found that the mining projects, even though they are still in the exploration phase, have already had great impact on local expectations for future development and on decision-making and planning in people’s daily lives and thereby the development of the communities. Further, although located relatively close together in the same region, there are significant differences between the towns and their relations to the neighboring mining projects. There is both support and opposition towards the projects, which triggers division between individuals, between groups and between the towns. However, all agree on a need for more transparent processes and for timelines to inform people of when they can expect decisions to be made and activities to take place.
North America is currently home to a number of grey wolf (Canis lupus) and wolf-like canid popula ... Læs mere
North America is currently home to a number of grey wolf (Canis lupus) and wolf-like canid populations, including the coyote (Canis latrans) and the taxonomically controversial red, Eastern timber and Great Lakes wolves. We explored their population structure and regional gene flow using a dataset of 40 full genome sequences that represent the extant diversity of North American wolves and wolf-like canid populations. This included 15 new genomes (13 North American grey wolves, 1 red wolf and 1 Eastern timber/Great Lakes wolf), ranging from 0.4 to 15x coverage. In addition to providing full genome support for the previously proposed coyote-wolf admixture origin for the taxonomically controversial red, Eastern timber and Great Lakes wolves, the discriminatory power offered by our dataset suggests all North American grey wolves, including the Mexican form, are monophyletic, and thus share a common ancestor to the exclusion of all other wolves. Furthermore, we identify three distinct populations in the high arctic, one being a previously unidentified “Polar wolf” population endemic to Ellesmere Island and Greenland. Genetic diversity analyses reveal particularly high inbreeding and low heterozygosity in these Polar wolves, consistent with long-term isolation from the other North American wolves.
Dogs were present in the Americas before the arrival of European colonists, but the origin and fa ... Læs mere
Dogs were present in the Americas before the arrival of European colonists, but the origin and fate of these precontact dogs are largely unknown. We sequenced 71 mitochondrial and 7 nuclear genomes from ancient North American and Siberian dogs from time frames spanning ~9000 years. Our analysis indicates that American dogs were not derived from North American wolves. Instead, American dogs form a monophyletic lineage that likely originated in Siberia and dispersed into the Americas alongside people. After the arrival of Europeans, native American dogs almost completely disappeared, leaving a minimal genetic legacy in modern dog populations. The closest detectable extant lineage to precontact American dogs is the canine transmissible venereal tumor, a contagious cancer clone derived from an individual dog that lived up to 8000 years ago.
On 13th October 2015, Iceland quietly submitted its instrument of accession to the Antarctic Trea ... Læs mere
On 13th October 2015, Iceland quietly submitted its instrument of accession to the Antarctic Treaty to the US Department of State (the depositary for the Antarctic Treaty). Iceland’s accession was not accompanied by any official declaration or public discussion in Iceland or elsewhere. This paper investigates some of the factors that are likely to have spurred the decision to join the Antarctic treaty system, examines current Icelandic interests in the Antarctic and proposes constructive policies to enhance Icelandic involvement in Antarctic governance and cooperation following the accession. The authors conclude that logistical operations and adventure tourism involving Icelandic companies in the Antarctic are the most likely triggers for the accession and they propose that Iceland consider ratification of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Madrid Protocol).