CONTRACTIONS AND EXPANSIONS: INVESTIGATING THE TRAJECTORY OF THE SIERRA NEVADA RED FOX AND ITS ASSOCIATES.
Cate B. Quinn; University of California, Davis; One Shields Ave, Davis, CA, 95616; (703) 489-5350; cbquinn@ucdavis.edu; Gregory A. Green, Tim Hiller, Jaime Bowles, Katie Moriarty, Brian E. Hatfield, Sarah Stock, Benjamin N. Sacks
The Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) experienced major declines in the twentieth century, making it the most endangered of montane red fox subspecies native to the western United Sates. In particular, the Sierra Nevada distinct population segment (DPS) of the subspecies is currently represented by a single population in the central Sierra Nevada believed to number <50 breeding individuals. Currently the most pressing threats to the Sierra Nevada DPS are inbreeding, combined with the potential for outbreeding depression and genomic replacement from nonnative red fox. Understanding and managing these threats necessitates a widening of focus from the occupied portion of the Sierra Nevada mountain range to consider red fox population dynamics across the historical range, as well as of neighboring mountain ranges. Here we use microsatellite and mitochondrial data from red fox populations in the Pacific Crest and Rockies to present updates on the genetic status of both the Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascade DPS, investigate their relationships to associate montane populations, and identify the most urgent information needs for conservation planning.
The Anthropocene: Speciation & Hybridization