2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Evaluation of Genetic Diversity in the Spiny-Tailed Iguanas (Ctenosaura oedirhina) of Roatán, Honduras
Jessica N. Plaggenberg
Dr. Stephen Hudman, Faculty Mentor

Ctenosaura oedirhina is a species of spiny-tailed iguanas endemic to the island of Roatán, Honduras and is listed as Endangered by the IUCN. Like other insular endemics, C. oedhirina has a limited range and is threatened with habitat loss by human encroachment and development, as well as over-harvesting. Effective management strategies for C. oedhirina are contingent on an understanding of existing genetic diversity and population structure on the island. To date, our data suggest that the C. oedirhina population on the island is actually subdivided into genetically distinguishable clusters that are isolated along a gradient of increasing geographic distance. Reduced gene flow among populations observed in our data can make each sub-population more vulnerable to environmental changes (including infectious diseases), demographic stochasticity, and continued human-related disturbances. Therefore, management practices should be directed at reducing over-harvesting by humans and increasing connectivity between isolated sub-populations to "rescue" genetic diversity.

Keywords: genetics, endangered, reptile

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 303-4
Location: MG 1098
Time: 1:45

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