San Diego Management & Monitoring Program

Vertebrate Species
Cactus Wren Genetic Analysis - Historical Museum Samples


Project description

The purpose of this study is to gather genetic data from museum samples collected in the early 1900s to compare levels of genetic diversity and population structure to present day estimates. From this analysis, USGS hopes to determine whether there has been an increase in population genetic differentiation and a loss of genetic diversity in Southern California Cactus Wrens over the past century, and to quantify these changes. Results will help inform potential management actions such as choosing source populations for re-establishment and augmentation. This project will consist of the following objectives:1) Develop protocols for DNA extraction and amplification of historical museum samples for microsatellite loci; 2) Travel to museums in California to retrieve tissue from relevant museum specimens; 3) Genotype samples, analyze patterns of genetic differentiation and diversity, and prepare a report comparing past to present population genetic structure.

Project groups


Project Group: Cactus Wren Genetic Analysis

Project protocol

Name: Historical Population Structure and Genetic Diversity in the Cactus Wren in Coastal Southern Califor

Description: This protocol is an excerpt from a 2014 report by Barr and Vandergast. Protocol includes: collecting samples, assessing data quality, identifying population structure, and calculating genetic diversity.

Project focus

Project type: Genetic study

Target species: Coastal cactus wren

Target vegetation: coastal sage scrub

Investigator: Amy Vandergast

Main implementing entity: U.S. Geological Survey

Point of contact: Amy Vandergast

SDMMP lead: Kris Preston

Study lead: Kelly Barr

Strategic elements

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

Files and Documents