Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Friday, 8 August 2014

Chapter 2: Population structure and management

Koch, K., Algar, D., & Schwenk, K. (2014). Population structure and management of invasive cats on an Australian Island. Genetic diversity and phylogeography of Australian feral cats: 42.

Invasive predators have a major impact on endemic island species; therefore, information about invasion dynamics are essential for implementing successful control measures. The introduction of feral cats onto Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia, has had devastating effects, with presumably 10 of 13 native terrestrial mammal species being lost because of predation. Since detailed records of historical introduction events were lacking, we analysed genetic variation of the current population to gain information about past invasion dynamics and current gene-flow patterns. We analyzed the genetic structure and diversity of feral cats on the island and 2 adjacent mainland populations (Peron Peninsula and Steep Point). Analysis of mitochondrial DNA (ND5 and ND6) showed 2 primary haplotypes that we attribute to 2 main introduction events. Pairwise G’’ST values indicated high connectivity on the island but some isolation to the mainland populations. Mitochondrial and nuclear data showed no evidence for genetic differentiation of island and mainland populations; however, kinship analyses rejected evidence for on-going immigration of members of the current cat populations. Overall, our data suggested that gene flow following the main introduction events ceased some years ago. Because current island populations appear to be reproductivelyisolated from mainland populations, a sufficiently large-scale eradication measure might successfully diminish feral cat populations long-term.

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