Genetic variation and population structure in desert bighorn sheep

Implications for conservation

Gustavo A. Gutiérrez-Espeleta, Steven T. Kalinowski, Walter M. Boyce, Philip W. Hedrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bighorn sheep populations experienced a drastic reduction in both distribution and abundance until the advent of modern wildlife management, where improving viability of extant populations and translocating animals into historical habitat range have been the most important management policies. The fact that subspecies relationships among bighorn are ambiguous, together with the importance of selecting appropriate source stock and the expense of translocation projects, makes an understanding of subspecies relationships and genetic variation, within and between populations, important for the management and conservation of this species. In this study, genetic variation in 279 bighorn sheep from 13 study sites in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Alberta, Canada were examined by analyzing ten microsatellite loci to determine interpopulation differentiation and relationships between closely related taxa. All populations contained a substantial amount of genetic variation. Genetic differences between populations were large and roughly proportional to geographic distance. The significance of this to desert subspecies relationships and management is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-15
Number of pages13
JournalConservation Genetics
Volume1
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

Fingerprint

Bighorn Sheep
Ovis canadensis
sheep
subspecies
population structure
genetic variation
deserts
desert
Population
wildlife management
translocation
viability
Alberta
animal
Microsatellite Repeats
Canada
habitat
Ecosystem
microsatellite repeats
loci

Keywords

  • Bighorn sheep
  • Genetic distance
  • Microsatellites
  • Subspecies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Genetics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

Gutiérrez-Espeleta, G. A., Kalinowski, S. T., Boyce, W. M., & Hedrick, P. W. (2000). Genetic variation and population structure in desert bighorn sheep: Implications for conservation. Conservation Genetics, 1(1), 3-15.

Genetic variation and population structure in desert bighorn sheep : Implications for conservation. / Gutiérrez-Espeleta, Gustavo A.; Kalinowski, Steven T.; Boyce, Walter M.; Hedrick, Philip W.

In: Conservation Genetics, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2000, p. 3-15.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gutiérrez-Espeleta, GA, Kalinowski, ST, Boyce, WM & Hedrick, PW 2000, 'Genetic variation and population structure in desert bighorn sheep: Implications for conservation', Conservation Genetics, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 3-15.
Gutiérrez-Espeleta GA, Kalinowski ST, Boyce WM, Hedrick PW. Genetic variation and population structure in desert bighorn sheep: Implications for conservation. Conservation Genetics. 2000;1(1):3-15.
Gutiérrez-Espeleta, Gustavo A. ; Kalinowski, Steven T. ; Boyce, Walter M. ; Hedrick, Philip W. / Genetic variation and population structure in desert bighorn sheep : Implications for conservation. In: Conservation Genetics. 2000 ; Vol. 1, No. 1. pp. 3-15.
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