Maintenance of genetic diversity is important for conserving species, especially those with fragmented habitats or ranges. In the absence of natural dispersal, translocation can be used to achieve this goal, although the success of translocation can be difficult to measure. Here we evaluate genetic change following translocation in Gunnison Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus minimus), a species reduced to 7 discrete populations with low levels of gene flow and high levels of genetic differentiation. Between 2000 and 2014, 306 birds from the largest and most genetically diverse population (Gunnison Basin) were translocated to 5 much smaller satellite populations to augment local population size and increase genetic diversity. Although the magnitude of the effect varied by population, we found evidence of increased genetic variation, decreased genetic differentiation from Gunnison Basin, and reproduction between translocated individuals and resident birds. These results suggest that translocations are impacting satellite populations, with current data providing a new baseline for genetic diversity among populations of this imperiled species.
|Title||Evaluation of genetic change from translocation among Gunnison Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus minimus) populations|
|Authors||Shawna J Zimmerman, Cameron L. Aldridge, Anthony D. Apa, Sara J. Oyler-McCance|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Ornithological Applications|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Fort Collins Science Center|