Where Mountain Lions Traverse: Insights from Landscape Genetics in Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/578431
Title:
Where Mountain Lions Traverse: Insights from Landscape Genetics in Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico
Author:
Naidu, Ashwin
Issue Date:
2015
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The projected growth in human population, rapid urbanization, and expansion of structures like highways and canals pose a major threat to the future survival of wildlife, particularly large terrestrial mammals. In many cases, wild animal populations have been restricted to fragmented habitat islands due to anthropogenic developments, endangering them to local extinction. Current and future wildlife conservation and management strategies are leading to the implementation of mitigation measures such as creation of wildlife habitat corridors. In this light, novel and interdisciplinary research methods such as approaches in the field of landscape genetics are proving to be increasingly useful and necessary for assessing the status of wildlife populations and furthering efficacy of conservation programs and management efforts. In this 5-year research study, I review literature in the field of landscape genetics, highlighting studies and their applications toward wildlife conservation over the past decade (2005-2014). I then use a landscape genetic approach to understand the potential impact of natural and human-made barriers in and around the northern Sonoran Desert on one of the widest-ranging mammals in the world, the mountain lion (Puma concolor). I employ recently developed genetic tools to assess the current population genetic status of mountain lions in this region and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools to relate observations to landscape features through interpretive maps. I further investigate the utility of GIS and expert-based models in connectivity conservation and suggest validating them with information on genetic relatedness and functional connectivity among mountain lions. Lastly, in many parts of this document, I emphasize the use of these methods and data sharing in conservation planning as well as wildlife management.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Geographic Information Systems; Landscape genetics; Puma concolor; Wildlife conservation; Wildlife management; Natural Resources; Conservation genetics
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Natural Resources
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Culver, Melanie

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleWhere Mountain Lions Traverse: Insights from Landscape Genetics in Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexicoen_US
dc.creatorNaidu, Ashwinen
dc.contributor.authorNaidu, Ashwinen
dc.date.issued2015en
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.abstractThe projected growth in human population, rapid urbanization, and expansion of structures like highways and canals pose a major threat to the future survival of wildlife, particularly large terrestrial mammals. In many cases, wild animal populations have been restricted to fragmented habitat islands due to anthropogenic developments, endangering them to local extinction. Current and future wildlife conservation and management strategies are leading to the implementation of mitigation measures such as creation of wildlife habitat corridors. In this light, novel and interdisciplinary research methods such as approaches in the field of landscape genetics are proving to be increasingly useful and necessary for assessing the status of wildlife populations and furthering efficacy of conservation programs and management efforts. In this 5-year research study, I review literature in the field of landscape genetics, highlighting studies and their applications toward wildlife conservation over the past decade (2005-2014). I then use a landscape genetic approach to understand the potential impact of natural and human-made barriers in and around the northern Sonoran Desert on one of the widest-ranging mammals in the world, the mountain lion (Puma concolor). I employ recently developed genetic tools to assess the current population genetic status of mountain lions in this region and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools to relate observations to landscape features through interpretive maps. I further investigate the utility of GIS and expert-based models in connectivity conservation and suggest validating them with information on genetic relatedness and functional connectivity among mountain lions. Lastly, in many parts of this document, I emphasize the use of these methods and data sharing in conservation planning as well as wildlife management.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectGeographic Information Systemsen
dc.subjectLandscape geneticsen
dc.subjectPuma concoloren
dc.subjectWildlife conservationen
dc.subjectWildlife managementen
dc.subjectNatural Resourcesen
dc.subjectConservation geneticsen
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineNatural Resourcesen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorCulver, Melanieen
dc.contributor.committeememberCulver, Melanieen
dc.contributor.committeememberChristianson, David A.en
dc.contributor.committeememberWissler, Craig A.en
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