The Bolivian "Altiplano" and "Valle" sheep are two different peripatric breeds
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Forty-nine sheep belonged to the Andean Altiplano region ("Altiplano") and 30 in the lowland regions of Bolivia ("Valle"), aged 1 to 4 years, were wool sampled to determine the extent of difference between these local breeds. Fibre length and the percentage of each type of fibre (long-thick, short-thin and kemp), yield and fibre diameter were measured. There was a highly significant difference between the two sheep populations that were not clearly separated in the first two principal component of a principal components analysis (PC); the first PC explained 67.1 % and the second PC explained 26.6 % of the total variation. The variables that contributed most to the separation of the sheep populations were the percentage of long-thick and short-thin fibres in the first PC and yield in the second PC. A discriminant analysis, which was used to classify individuals with respect to their breeding, achieved an accurate classification rate of 84.2 %. Thus, the Altiplano and Valle sheep must be viewed as two closely peripatric breeds rather than different"ecotypes" ,as more than 80 % could be correctly assigned to one of the breeds; however, the differences are based on composition of long-thick and short-thin fibres and yield after alcohol scouring.