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Article

Genetic Consequences of Multiple Translocations of the Banded Hare-Wallaby in Western Australia

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School of Biological Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
2
Biodiversity and Conservation Science, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, 17 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington, Perth, WA 6151, Australia
3
Environmental and Conservation Sciences, Murdoch University, 90 South Street, Murdoch, Perth, WA 6150, Australia
4
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy, P.O. Box 8070 Subiaco East, Perth, WA 6008, Australia
5
Ecosystem Restoration and Intervention Ecology Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
6
Wildlife Research and Management Pty Ltd., P.O. Box 1360, Kalamunda, WA 6926, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(12), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120448
Received: 9 October 2020 / Revised: 17 November 2020 / Accepted: 24 November 2020 / Published: 27 November 2020
Many Australian mammal species now only occur on islands and fenced mainland havens free from invasive predators. The range of one species, the banded hare-wallaby (Lagostrophus fasciatus), had contracted to two offshore islands in Western Australia. To improve survival, four conservation translocations have been attempted with mixed success, and all occurred in the absence of genetic information. Here, we genotyped seven polymorphic microsatellite markers in two source (Bernier Island and Dorre Island), two historic captive, and two translocated L. fasciatus populations to determine the impact of multiple translocations on genetic diversity. Subsequently, we used population viability analysis (PVA) and gene retention modelling to determine scenarios that will maximise demographic resilience and genetic richness of two new populations that are currently being established. One translocated population (Wadderin) has undergone a genetic bottleneck and lost 8.1% of its source population’s allelic diversity, while the other (Faure Island) may be inbred. We show that founder number is a key parameter when establishing new L. fasciatus populations and 100 founders should lead to high survival probabilities. Our modelling predicts that during periodic droughts, the recovery of source populations will be slower post-harvest, while 75% more animals—about 60 individuals—are required to retain adequate allelic diversity in the translocated population. Our approach demonstrates how genetic data coupled with simulations of stochastic environmental events can address central questions in translocation programmes. View Full-Text
Keywords: genetic diversity; population viability analysis; allele retention; translocation; conservation management; threatened marsupial; remnant genetic diversity; population viability analysis; allele retention; translocation; conservation management; threatened marsupial; remnant
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MDPI and ACS Style

White, D.J.; Ottewell, K.; Spencer, P.B.S.; Smith, M.; Short, J.; Sims, C.; Mitchell, N.J. Genetic Consequences of Multiple Translocations of the Banded Hare-Wallaby in Western Australia. Diversity 2020, 12, 448. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120448

AMA Style

White DJ, Ottewell K, Spencer PBS, Smith M, Short J, Sims C, Mitchell NJ. Genetic Consequences of Multiple Translocations of the Banded Hare-Wallaby in Western Australia. Diversity. 2020; 12(12):448. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120448

Chicago/Turabian Style

White, Daniel J., Kym Ottewell, Peter B.S. Spencer, Michael Smith, Jeff Short, Colleen Sims, and Nicola J. Mitchell 2020. "Genetic Consequences of Multiple Translocations of the Banded Hare-Wallaby in Western Australia" Diversity 12, no. 12: 448. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120448

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