Phenotypic differentiation of exterior traits in local Criollo Goat Population in Patagonia (Argentina)
Abstract. The Neuquén-Criollo goat is a significant genetic resource, adapted to the singular harsh environment of North Patagonia. Its present gene pool was built up from different breeds since the Spanish colonization being Angora the latest introduced. High phenotypic diversity and their geographical distribution suggest a subdivision of this goat population into four close sub-areas. As phenotypic characterization was carried out on 827 Criollo adult goats. Analyse were based on fourteen quantitative (morphostructural) and eight qualitative (morphological) variables. Correspondence analyses for qualitative and canonical discriminant analysis for quantitative traits were performed, using hair types as classification variable. Results were consistent in differentiating the four considered sub-areas. Neuquen Criollo breed could be characterized in two ecotypes: Short and Long hair goats, a mixed type area and a crossbred area fulfil the types distribution. Principal divergence factors would be isolation, natural and artificial selection, transhumance and exotic breeds introduction.