Vertebrate Species

Cactus Wren Genetic Study - Regional

This study analyzes genetic population structure in the cactus wren throughout coastal southern California using microsatellite markers developed specifically for this species. It expands upon a previous study focused in Orange and San Diego Counties (Barr et al. 2012), adding cactus wren samples from Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. Additional samples from Palos Verdes and West Coyote Hills were included in the original dataset in an addendum to the study. With this full dataset, we characterize the current population genetic structure to provide information on levels of gene flow throughout the cactus wren’s range in coastal southern California. We also analyze genetic diversity and recent demographic change over the study area. Understanding these patterns will aid in management of current cactus wren populations and future efforts in habitat restoration.
Project Groups
  • SDMMP33 Cactus Wren Genetic Analysis

Project Focus

Coastal cactus wren

coastal sage scrub

U.S. Geological Survey

Nature Reserve of Orange County

Amy Vandergast

Barbara Kus; Amy Vandergast

Kris Preston

Kelly Barr

Project Protocol
Strategic Elements
  • FY15-16
Project Location
Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura
Central-central, Central-west, North-central, North-west, South-central, South-west
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
File name Lead Author Year Type
Genetic Isolation of Coastal Cactus Wren Follows Habitat Fragmentation Patterns in Southern California Barr, K. R.; Kus, Barbara; Preston, Kris; Howell, Scarlett L.; Perkins, Emily; Vandergast, Amy 2015 fact sheet
Habitat Fragmentation in Coastal Southern California Disrupts Genetic Connectivity in the Cactus Wren Barr, Kelly 2015 report
Habitat fragmentation in coastal southern California disrupts genetic connectivity in the cactus wren Barr, Kelly; Howell, Scarlett L.; Kus, Barbara; Perkins, Emily; Preston, Kris; Vandergast, Amy 2015 journal article