The cynomolgus macaque, Macaca fascicularis, was introduced onto the island of Mauritius in the early 17th century. The species experienced explosive population growth, and currently exists at high population densities. Anecdotes collected from nonhuman primate trappers on the island of Mauritius allege that animals from the northern portion of the island are larger in body size than and superior in condition to their conspecifics in the south. Although previous genetic studies have reported Mauritian cynomolgus macaques to be panmictic, the individuals included in these studies were either from the southern/central or an unknown portion of the island. In this study, we sampled individuals broadly throughout the entire island of Mauritius and used spatial principle component analysis to measure the fine-scale correlation between geographic and genetic distance in this population. A stronger correlation between geographic and genetic distance was found among animals in the north than in those in the southern and central portions of the island. We found no difference in body weight between the two groups, despite anecdotal evidence to the contrary. We hypothesize that the increased genetic structure among populations in the north is related to a reduction in dispersal distance brought about by human habitation and tourist infrastructure, but too recent to have produced true genetic differentiation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)