Genetic impacts of Anacapa deer mice reintroductions following rat eradication

Ozer F., Gellerman H., Ashley M. V.

MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, vol.20, no.17, pp.3525-3539, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 17
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1365-294x.2011.05165.x
  • Title of Journal : MOLECULAR ECOLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.3525-3539


The Anacapa deer mouse is an endemic subspecies that inhabits Anacapa Island, part of Channel Islands National Park, California. We used mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit II gene (COII) and 10 microsatellite loci to evaluate the levels of genetic differentiation and variation in similar to 1400 Anacapa deer mice sampled before and for 4 years after a black rat (Rattus rattus) eradication campaign that included trapping, captive holding and reintroduction of deer mice. Both mitochondrial and microsatellite analyses indicated significant differentiation between Anacapa deer mice and mainland mice, and genetic variability of mainland mice was significantly higher than Anacapa mice even prior to reintroduction. Bayesian cluster analysis and Principal Coordinates Analysis indicated that East, Middle and West Anacapa mice were genetically differentiated from each other, but translocation of mice among islands resulted in the East population becoming less distinct as a result of management. Levels of heterozygosity were similar before and after management. However, numerous private alleles in the founder populations were not observed after reintroduction and shifts in allele frequencies occurred, indicating that the reintroduced populations experienced substantial genetic drift. Surprisingly, two mitochondrial haplotypes observed in an earlier study of Anacapa deer mice were lost in the 20 years prior to the rat eradication program, leaving only a single haplotype in Anacapa deer mice. This study demonstrates how genetic monitoring can help to understand the re-establishment of endemic species after the eradication of invasive species and to evaluate the effectiveness of the management strategies employed.