Wrentit Genetic Isolation Map
This map of the Thousand Oaks, Calif. area visualizes the degree of genetic isolation being experienced by the wrentit (Chamaea fasciata), a small songbird. USGS and National Park Service biologists discovered that as urban development fragmented the Santa Monica Mountains scrubland into isolated "habitat islands", wildlife populations have also become genetically isolated as individuals are unable cross urban barriers to breed with neighboring members of their own species. Genetic isolation and loss of genetic diversity can lead to greater risk of a species' extinction. This graphic was originally published in the journal PLoS ONE.