Jackson - Conservation Genetics 4: 105108, 2003. 2003...

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Conservation Genetics 4: 105–108, 2003. © 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands. 105 Ancient DNA gives green light to Gal´apagos Land Iguana repatriation Bruce V. Hofkin 1 , April Wright 1 , Jennifer Altenbach 1 , Kornelia Rassmann 2 , Heidi M. Snell 1 , 3 , Robert D. Miller 1 , Anne C. Stone 4 &HowardL.Snell 1 , 3 1 Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA; 2 Institut für Genetik, Universität zu Köln, Weyertal 121, 50931 Köln, Germany; 3 Charles Darwin Research Station, Isla Santa Cruz, Gal´apagos, Ecuador; 4 Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA ( author for correspondence, e-mail: snell@unm.edu) Received 2 January 2002; accepted 5 March 2002 Key words: ancient DNA, conservation, Gal´apagos Land Iguanas, repatriation Abstract Land Iguanas, Conolophus subcristatus , were extirpated from Isla Baltra, Galápagos Archipelago in the 1940s. Historical records indicate that some Baltra iguanas were translocated to nearby Isla Seymour Norte in the 1930s. Plans to repatriate iguanas to Baltra were suspended when evidence suggested that iguanas on Seymour Norte may not be entirely of Baltra origin. Comparison of DNA from century-old museum specimens with extant iguanas has identiFed those individuals of unambiguous Baltra origin on Seymour Norte. These results provide scientiFc criteria for the ecological restoration of these endangered reptiles. Abbreviations: CytB – cytochrome B; PCR – polymerase chain reaction; CAS – California Academy of Sciences Introduction Galápagos Land Iguanas, Conolophus subcristatus , once present on Isla Baltra, were extirpated between 1944 and 1954 following the construction of an Amer- ican military airbase (Snell et al. 1984, 1996; Woram 1991). The loss of the Baltra iguanas, along with the disappearance of this species on Isla Santiago in the 19th century, has reduced the number of original island-populations from seven to Fve (±igure 1). Although land iguanas were historically on Baltra, nearby Isla Seymour Norte naturally lacked these reptiles. ±ortuitously, in 1932 a number of land iguanas were translocated from Baltra to Seymour Norte by the Allan Hancock Expeditions (Banning 1933; Woram 1992). Descendents of those animals, and possibly a few of the original translocated indi- viduals may survive today on Seymour Norte, and thus represent a potential source population for the return of iguanas to Baltra. A program with this objective was initiated in the early 1990s (Cayot and Menoscal 1992), but the discovery of morphological and repro- ductive variation among the Seymour Norte animals suggested that not all these iguanas were of Baltra origin. While populations of land iguanas vary signiF- cantly with respect to multivariate scale patterns, reproductive seasonality, body size, and shape, it is
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This note was uploaded on 07/17/2008 for the course EEOB 700 taught by Professor Wolfe during the Winter '05 term at Ohio State.

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Jackson - Conservation Genetics 4: 105108, 2003. 2003...

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