Type: Journal article
Reference: Pierson, J. C., Berry, L., Alexander, L., Anson, J., Birkett, M., Kemp, L., Pascoe, B. A., Farquharson, K. A., & Hogg, C. J. (2023). Adaptive Genetic Management of a Reintroduction Program from Captive Breeding to Metapopulation Management of an Arboreal Marsupial. Diversity, 15(7), 848. https://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/15/7/848
The application of genetic data to conservation management programs can be hindered by the mismatch in timelines for management decisions and the acquisition of genetic data, particularly genomic sequence data that may require outsourcing. While applying genetic principles where data are absent can provide general guidelines for actions, genetic data can often fine-tune actions through adaptive management. We describe the adaptive genetic management of the establishment of a metapopulation of a small arboreal marsupial, the red-tailed phascogale (Phascogale calura). Two captive breeding programs were established as source populations, with genetic principles applied to the establishment of the first program and empirical genetic data used to guide the establishment of the second program. Genetic data from both programs were then used to allocate founders to three new populations to create a metapopulation with diversity both within and among the sites. Building and maintaining the diversity of metapopulations when recovering threatened species will reduce pressure on the original source populations and increase the resilience of the species.