Implications of spatial genetic patterns for conserving African leopards

Ropiquet, Anne, Knight, Andrew T., Born, Celine, Martins, Quinton, Balme, Guy, Kirkendall, Lawrence, Hunter, Luke, Senekal, Charl and Matthee, Conrad A. (2015) Implications of spatial genetic patterns for conserving African leopards. Comptes Rendus - Biologies, 338 11: 728-737. doi:10.1016/j.crvi.2015.06.019

Author Ropiquet, Anne
Knight, Andrew T.
Born, Celine
Martins, Quinton
Balme, Guy
Kirkendall, Lawrence
Hunter, Luke
Senekal, Charl
Matthee, Conrad A.
Title Implications of spatial genetic patterns for conserving African leopards
Journal name Comptes Rendus - Biologies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1631-0691
Publication date 2015-04-17
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.crvi.2015.06.019
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 338
Issue 11
Start page 728
End page 737
Total pages 10
Place of publication Issy les Moulineaux, Cedex, France
Publisher Elsevier Masson SAS
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The leopard (Panthera pardus) is heavily persecuted in areas where it predates livestock and threatens human well-being. Attempts to resolve human–leopard conflict typically involve translocating problem animals; however, these interventions are rarely informed by genetic studies and can unintentionally compromise the natural spatial genetic structure and diversity, and possibly the long-term persistence, of the species. No significant genetic discontinuities were definable within the southern African leopard population. Analysis of fine-scale genetic data derived from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA revealed that the primary natural process shaping the spatial genetic structure of the species is isolation-by-distance (IBD). The effective gene dispersal (σ) index can inform leopard translocations and is estimated to be 82 km for some South African leopards. The importance of adopting an evidence-based strategy is discussed for supporting the integration of genetic data, spatial planning and social learning institutions so as to promote collaboration between land managers, government agency staff and researchers.
Keyword Effective genetic distance
Genetic diversity
Human wildlife conflict
Isolation by distance
Panthera pardus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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