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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Genetic diversity in a reintroduced swift fox population

Published source details

Sasmal I., Jenks J.A., Waits L.P., Gonda M.G., Schroeder G.M. & Datta S. (2013) Genetic diversity in a reintroduced swift fox population. Conservation Genetics, 14, 93-102


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Translocate to re-establish or boost populations in native range Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2003–2009 in a temperate grassland site in South Dakota, USA (Sasmal et al. 2013) found that translocating swift foxes Vulpes velox led to the establishment of a population in which genetic diversity of wild-born descendants was at least as high as that of the translocated animals. For two key measures of genetic diversity, values for descendants of translocated foxes (heterozygosity: 0.75; allelic richness: 11.2) were at least as high as those of the translocated animals (heterozygosity: 0.75–0.78; allelic richness: 7.5–8.6). In 2003–2006, one hundred and eight wild-caught swift foxes from Colorado and Wyoming were released into a national park in South Dakota from which the species had been extirpated. Four hundred DNA samples (108 from translocated foxes and 292 collected in 2004–2009 from their wild-born descendants) were analyzed for measures of genetic diversity.

(Summarised by Georgina del Vecho )