Instituto Gulbenkian Of Cienca

Oeiras, Portugal

Instituto Gulbenkian Of Cienca

Oeiras, Portugal
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Salmona J.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Cienca | Teixeira H.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Cienca | Rasolondraibe E.,British Petroleum | Aleixo-Pais I.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Cienca | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Primatology | Year: 2015

Genetic data can be combined with ecological data to study the demographic history of a species, identify landscape features that influence migration patterns, and guide conservation efforts. Perrier’s sifaka (Propithecus perrieri) is a Critically Endangered, rare, and elusive social lemur living in a very restricted, fragmented landscape. To assess the effect of habitat loss and fragmentation on the genetic diversity of the Perrier’s sifaka population we examined 24 microsatellite markers genotyped for 67 samples corresponding to 42 individuals. Perrier’s sifaka shows a low current effective population size (ca. 52–105) and a strong heterozygosity excess, suggesting a historically large but dwindling population. Moreover, we identified a pattern of isolation by distance, typical of continuous habitat, suggesting that sifakas were still able to cross the grasslands between forest fragments in the recent past. Our study calls for a unified conservation plan covering the two protected areas where the species is still present, if not the whole area of its past distribution. Further studies inferring the past demographic history of Perrier’s sifaka may confirm the population decline and shed light on its potential causes. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Salmona J.,Societe dEtude Ornithologique de la Reunion SEOR | Salmona J.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Cienca | Dawson D.A.,University of Sheffield | Fouillot D.,Societe dEtude Ornithologique de la Reunion SEOR | And 5 more authors.
Conservation Genetics Resources | Year: 2010

Genetic data are increasingly recognized for their utility in conservation programs. However, many endangered species belong to families that have been understudied. Due to the urgency of their conservation status it is important to quickly identify polymorphic microsatellite loci from available resources. We show for the Réunion Cuckoo shrike Coracina newtoni, that this strategy can be very useful. Using 110 passerine microsatellite primer sets we identified eighteen polymorphic loci and tested them in 25 C. newtoni individuals. Following a Bonferroni correction one pair of loci displayed linkage disequilibrium (P-value < 0.0001). © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.


Salmona J.,Societe dEtudes Ornithologiques de La Reunion SEOR | Salmona J.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Cienca | Salamolard M.,Societe dEtudes Ornithologiques de La Reunion SEOR | Fouillot D.,Societe dEtudes Ornithologiques de La Reunion SEOR | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The exceptional biodiversity of Reunion Island is threatened by anthropogenic landscape changes that took place during the 350 years of human colonization. During this period the human population size increased dramatically from 250 to 800,000. The arrival of humans together with the development of agriculture, invasive species such as rats and cats, and deforestation has lead to the extinction of more than half of the original vertebrate species of the island. For the remaining species, significant work is being carried out to identify threats and conservation status, but little genetic work has been carried on some of the most endangered species. In the last decade theoretical studies have shown the ability of neutral genetic markers to infer the demographic history of endangered species and identify and date past population size changes (expansions or bottlenecks). In this study we provide the first genetic data on the critically endangered species the Reunion cuckoo-shrike Coracina newtoni. The Reunion cuckoo-shrike is a rare endemic forest bird surviving in a restricted 12-km2 area of forested uplands and mountains. The total known population consists of less than one hundred individuals out of which 45 were genotyped using seventeen polymorphic microsatellite loci. We found a limited level of genetic variability and weak population structure, probably due to the limited geographic distribution. Using Bayesian methods, we identified a strong decline in population size during the Holocene, most likely caused by an ancient climatic or volcanic event around 5000 years ago. This result was surprising as it appeared in apparent contradiction with the accepted theory of recent population collapse due to deforestation and predator introduction. These results suggest that new methods allowing for more complex demographic models are necessary to reconstruct the demographic history of populations. © 2012 Salmona et al.

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