San Diego Management & Monitoring Program

Vertebrate Species
California Gnatcatcher Genetic Study - FundSource 1 and 2

Project description

We examined individual relatedness patterns and population genetic structure among gnatcatcher aggregations throughout coastal southern California from Ventura to San Diego Counties. To accomplish this goal, we developed a set of highly polymorphic microsatellite loci and sampled 268 individuals throughout the range. With genetic analyses we addressed the following questions:1) How many genetically distinguishable populations exist across the U.S. species range?2) Is genetic relatedness among individuals explained by the amount and distribution of suitable habitat?3) What is the range of dispersal distances between presumptive siblings and parents/offspring?4) What are the patterns of genetic diversity within aggregations across the U.S. range and what is the effective population size?5) How do these results impact future management and monitoring efforts aimed at species recovery?

Project groups


Project Group: California Gnatcatcher Genetic Study

Project location

County: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura

General: Central-central, Central-west, North-central, North-west, South-central, South-west

MU: 1, 10, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Project focus

Project type: Genetic study

Target species: Coastal California gnatcatcher

Target vegetation: coastal sage scrub

Investigator: Barbara Kus; Amy Vandergast

Main implementing entity: U.S. Geological Survey

Point of contact: Amy Vandergast

SDMMP lead: Kris Preston

Study lead: Amy Vandergast

Strategic elements

Budget year: pre FY15-1; Work plan objectives number:

Files and Documents