Non-invasive genetic sampling of Southern Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus fuliginatus) reveals limited movement across California State Route 67 in San Diego County

Western Wildlife
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Abstract

—The Southern Mule Deer is a mobile but non-migratory large mammal found throughout southern California and is a covered species in the San Diego Multi-Species Conservation Plan. We assessed deer movement and population connectivity across California State Route 67 and two smaller roads in eastern San Diego County using non-invasive genetic sampling. We collected deer scat pellets between April and November 2015, and genotyped pellets at 15 microsatellites and a sex determination marker. We successfully genotyped 71 unique individuals from throughout the study area and detected nine recapture events. Recaptures were generally found close to original capture locations (within 1.5 km). We did not detect recaptures across roads; however, pedigree analysis detected 21 first order relative pairs, of which approximately 20% were found across State Route 67. Exact tests comparing allele frequencies between groups of individuals in pre-defined geographic clusters detected significant genetic differentiation across State Route 67. In contrast, the assignment-based algorithm of STRUCTURE supported a single genetic cluster across the study area. Our data suggest that State Route 67 may reduce, but does not preclude, movement and gene flow of Southern Mule Deer.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Non-invasive genetic sampling of Southern Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus fuliginatus) reveals limited movement across California State Route 67 in San Diego County
Series title Western Wildlife
Volume 3
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher The Journal of the Western Section of The Wildlife Society
Publisher location Albany, CA
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 11 p.
First page 8
Last page 18
Country United States
State California
City San Diego
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N