Genetic consequences of intensive conservation management for the Mauritius parakeet

Raisin, C., Frantz, A., Kundu, S., Greenwood, A., Jones, C., Zuel, N. and Groombridge, J. (2012) Genetic consequences of intensive conservation management for the Mauritius parakeet. Conservation Genetics, 13 (3). pp. 707-715. ISSN 1566-0621.

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For conservation managers tasked with recovering threatened species, genetic structure can exacerbate the rate of loss of genetic diversity because alleles unique to a sub-population are more likely to be lost by the effects of random genetic drift than if a population is panmictic. Given that intensive management techniques commonly used to recover threatened species frequently involve movement of individuals within and between populations, managers need to be aware not only of pre-existing levels of genetic structure but also of the potential effects that intensive management might have on these patterns. The Mauritius parakeet (Psittacula echo) has been the subject of an intensive conservation programme, involving translocation and reintroduction that has recovered the population from less than 20 individuals in 1987 to approximately 500 in 2010. Analysis of genotype data derived from 18 microsatellite markers developed for this species reveals a clear signal of structure in the population before intensive management began, but which subsequently disappears following management intervention. This study illustrates the impacts that conservation management can have on the genetic structure of an island endemic population and demonstrates how translocations or reintroductions can benefit populations of endangered species by reducing the risk of loss of genetic diversity.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology (General) > QH0359 Evolution
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology (General) > QH0426 Genetics
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0001 General including nature conservation, geographical distribution > QH077 Nature conservation
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Human and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Samit Kundu
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2016 10:10
Last Modified: 13 May 2016 09:06

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00