What We’re Reading- Feb 9, 2018

A Lion Roars Back Lions have not been observed in Gabon for 20 years, until a camera trap project set up to investigate chimps captured a photo in 2015!  The Gabonese government expressed interest in translocating lions into the country to establish a breeding population.  One consideration for translocation projects is to move genetically similar…

What We’re Reading – Jan 26, 2018

Temporal Genotyping for Conservation Monitoring This paper advocates using museum specimens to quantify recent losses of genetic diversity in species of conservation concern.  The authors note that older demographic processes leave a signature on genetic diversity that can be difficult to distinguish from recent changes.  Thus they show how using temporal sampling allows researchers to…

What We’re Reading- Jan 12, 2018

One shark, one global population? We recently highlighted the lack of population genetic studies within marine environments, and noted that the existing ones show exciting results about both barriers and corridors for dispersal.  A new paper (open) investigated the global population structure of the blue shark (Prionace glauca).  This species has a serious global oceanic…

What We’re Reading- Oct 20, 2017

Genetic Conservation of Trees Both climate change, disease, habitat loss, and invasive species have increasingly threatened tree species with extirpation.  The US Department of Agriculture recently held a workshop on conserving genetic diversity of native trees.  The workshop produced an open document with over 90 abstracts and conference proceedings describing the highlights of the meeting. …

What We’re Reading- Feb 3, 2017

Finding management solutions for species that are threatened in their home ranges but introduced pests elsewhere Wildlife conservation and invasive species management are rarely straightforward. In some cases, a species that is an introduced pest in one place may be threatened in its native range. This creates a dilemma for managers: control them or conserve them? In this paper,…

What We’re Reading- Dec 2, 2016

Birds of Differentially Colored Feathers Still Flock Together Yellow-winged warblers (left in picture) are threatened with extinction in Canada under SARA, and a candidate species for the ESA in the United States. Hybridization with the more widely distributed blue-winged warbler (right in picture) is considered a threat to the species. This paper (open) compared genomic…

Behind the paper: using DNA to define conservation units for endangered dragons

This week, we have a new paper published online in the journal Conservation Genetics, with former Honours student Emma Carlson as lead author. The paper is titled “How many conservation units are there for the endangered grassland earless dragons?” Yes, that’s right, dragons! But not the fire-breathing sort. The grassland earless dragon (Tympanocyrptis pinguicolla) is a…

Genetics vs Genomics in a Conservation Context

I’ve been asked a few times the difference between genetics and genomics, so I thought I’d take the time to explain how I see each differently, specifically in a conservation context. Genetics, in a classic sense, deals with genes. Genetics may tackle topics such as what gene underlies a trait of interest; how does overexpression,…