Conservation Genetics of Greater Prairie-chickens
|Former range of the prairie-chicken (dashed line). GPC = Greater
prairie-chicken, LPC = Lesser prairie-chicken, APC = Attwater's
Prairie-chickens in Wisconsin went through a population bottleneck in the 1950's. Today, there are
just 1200 birds left, and they have low levels of genetic variation compared with populations in other states.
Based on the research of my former graduate students, Jeff Johnson and Renee
Bellinger, the Society of Tympanuchus Cupido Pinnatus and the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources are
restoring genetic variation in Wisconsin by translocating birds from Minnesota.
Our next project will be to examine levels of genetic variation before and after the translocations to
gauge its success.
Collaborators: Dr. John Toepfer, Society of Tympanuchus Cupido Pinnatus Students:
Renee Bellinger (M.S. completed Jun. 2001) Now working for the US FWS in Oregon
Jeff Johnson (Ph.D. completed Sep. 2003). Now a post-doc at the Univ. of Michigan
BELLINGER, R., J. JOHNSON, J. TOEPFER, & P.O. DUNN. 2003. Loss of genetic variation in greater prairie chickens
following a population bottleneck in Wisconsin, USA. Conservation Biology 17: 717-724.
JOHNSON, J., J. TOEPFER & P.O. DUNN. 2003. Contrasting patterns of mitochondrial and microsatellite population structure in fragmented populations of greater prairie chickens. Molecular Ecology 12: 3335-3347.
JOHNSON, J., R. BELLINGER, J. TOEPFER & P.O. DUNN. 2004. Temporal changes in allele frequencies and low effective population size in greater prairie-chickens. Molecular Ecology 13: 2617-2630.
JOHNSON, J., & P.O. DUNN. 2006. Low genetic variation in the heath hen prior to extinction and implications for the conservation of prairie-chicken populations. Conservation Genetics 7: 37-48.