BUENA VISTA LAKE SHREWS: ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION BUT HIGHLY RECOVERABLE.
Brian L. Cypher; CSU-Stanislaus, Endangered Species Recovery; One University Circle, Turlock, CA, 95382; (661) 835-7810; bcypher@esrp.csustan.edu; Erin Tennant, Jesus Maldonado, Larry Saslaw, Tory Westall, Jacklyn Mohay, Erica Kelly, Christine Van Horn Job
The Buena Vista Lake shrew (Sorex ornatus relictus: BVLS) formerly inhabited seasonal and permanent wetlands and riparian areas in the southern San Joaquin Valley (SJV). Approximately 95% of these habitats have been lost, leaving only isolated remnants suitable for BVLS. We conducted surveys in the historic range, conducted a taxonomic review of shrews in the SJV via genetic analyses, and developed conservation recommendations. Surveys were conducted in 13 general locations and BVLS were detected in just six. Three of the sites were created wetlands, two sites were along canals, and just one site was a natural wetland. The presence of BVLS in the created wetlands indicates that wetland restoration or creation could be an effective conservation strategy. Taxonomic analyses indicated that there is considerable genetic connectivity and admixture between shrew populations in the northern and southern portions of the SJV. Also, while some of the small populations retain moderate levels of genetic diversity, the southern SJV shrew populations retain unique alleles and conservation of these shrews is important for maintaining population-wide genetic diversity. Thus, although very few extant populations were found, potential extension of the range and high suitability of created habitats may enhance the outlook for recovery of BVLS.
The Anthropocene: Recovery & Re-Wilding