Friday, 26 October 2012

Manatees in Puerto Rico Face Low Genetic Diversity


Puerto Rico's small and secluded manatee population is extra vulnerable to setbacks because its genetic diversity is low, researchers warn.
Conservationists had hoped that manatees from Florida were helping to offset the marine mammal's isolation problem in Puerto Rico through migration and mating, but a lack of diversity suggests this is not the case.
"Puerto Rico's Antillean manatees have low overall numbers and low genetic diversity, both of which present risks for the population's long-term survival," Margaret Hunter, a geneticist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and lead author of the study, said in a statement. 

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