We used microsatellite loci to examine rangewide population structure and interpopulation gene flow in the federally threatened Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard (Uma inornata). Our results indicate low population differentiation consistent with high gene flow, recent colonization and range expansion, and/or frequent local extirpation/recolonization events. Given high historical gene flow among populations and current isolation of remaining populations, conservation planning for this species should include monitoring of potential deleterious effects that may result from reduction in gene flow, such as inbreeding and loss of genetic variation, to ensure maintenance of ecological and evolutionary population processes adequate for long-term survival of the species.
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Vol. 63 • No. 4