Sunday, 10 May 2015

Genetically isolated sloth bears rely on habitat corridors to connect populations

Date:May 6, 2015

Source:PLOS

Summary:Habitat connectivity and corridors may play an important role in maintaining gene flow between isolated sloth bear populations in central India.

Habitat connectivity and corridors may play an important role in maintaining gene flow between isolated sloth bear populations in central India, according to a study published May 6, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Trishna Dutta from Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and colleagues.

Sloth bears, Melursus ursinus, are endemic to the Indian subcontinent and due to habitat loss and degradation over the past century, their declining populations now exist only in isolated and fragmented habitats. The authors of this study, interested in understanding the genetic connectivity between these fragmented populations studied sloth bear meta-populations in five tiger reserves in the Satpura-Maikal Landscape of central India. They collected sloth bear scat along forest trails and hair samples from trees with sloth bear claw marks, as well as recorded the GPS location of each collection site to obtain genetic diversity information.

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