Improving species conservation plans under IUCN’s One Plan Approach using quantitative genetic methods

10.24072/pcjournal.163 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 2 (2022), article no. e50.

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Human activities are resulting in altered environmental conditions that are impacting the demography and evolution of species globally. If we wish to prevent anthropogenic extinction and extirpation, we need to improve our ability to restore wild populations. Ex situ populations can be an important tool for species conservation. However, it is difficult to prevent deviations from an optimal breeding design and altered environments in captivity seem likely to lead to evolutionary or plasticity-induced phenotypic change that could make reintroduction more difficult. Quantitative genetic analysis can help disentangle the causes of phenotypic change in ex situ populations. Consequently, quantitative genetics can improve the management of these populations and the success of in situ population management actions that they support. In this review we outline methods that could be used to improve the management of in situ and ex situ populations in a One Plan Approach. We discuss how quantitative genetic models can help measure genetic variation, phenotypic plasticity, and social effects on phenotypes. Finally, we discuss how phenotypic change can be predicted using measurements of additive genetic variance and selection. While previous work has highlighted the value of ex situ populations for the field of quantitative genetics, we argue that quantitative genetics can, in turn, offer opportunities to improve management and consequently conservation of populations of species at risk. We show that quantitative genetic analyses are a tool that could be incorporated into and improve ex situ management practices.

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DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.163
Sauve, Drew 1; Hudecki, Jane 2; Steiner, Jessica 2; Wheeler, Hazel 2; Lynch, Colleen 3; Chabot, Amy A. 4

1 Department of Biology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada
2 Wildlife Preservation Canada, 5420 Highway 6 North, Guelph, Ontario N1H 6J2, Canada
3 Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
4 African Lion Safari, 1386 Cooper Road, Cambridge, Ontario N1R 5S2, Canada
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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Sauve, Drew; Hudecki, Jane; Steiner, Jessica; Wheeler, Hazel; Lynch, Colleen; Chabot, Amy A. Improving species conservation plans under IUCN’s One Plan Approach using quantitative genetic methods. Peer Community Journal, Volume 2 (2022), article  no. e50. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.163. https://peercommunityjournal.org/articles/10.24072/pcjournal.163/

Peer reviewed and recommended by PCI : 10.24072/pci.zool.100015

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