Pro-Active Management of Genetic Diversity
This paper quantified changes in genetic diversity in an experimental translocation of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) into four isolated populations from a single source population. The authors found that translocating 10 fish into the experimental populations significantly increased allelic richness and heterozygosity in the first generation following translocation. They also noted increased body size in the admixed offspring. Even though the species is not threatened with extinction, the results show a utility for active genetic management that may avoid a population becoming inbred to the point of declining fitness. This is definitely a story to watch as the researchers monitor for longer-term changes in fitness and genetic diversity in these native populations.
The Science of Predator Control
This open article is a meta-analysis about predator control studies with two important points. First, the authors found that most studies of predator control methods lacked appropriate controls. In this regard policy makers have little best available science on which to make decisions. Given that policy makers may not be able to evaluate which studies are rigorous or not, this means that lower quality studies could influence decision making. Second, of the best available science non-lethal methods of predator control reduced livestock take better than lethal methods. This study highlights the importance of researchers implementing proper controls in studies, and of policy makers to work with scientists to discern the quality of studies for the best policy outcomes.
Side photo of Canis lupus pack by Terry Whittaker via ARKive.