Of the approximately 2,500 California bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis californiana) in Oregon, USA, the majority descend from a single transplant of 20 animals from British Columbia, Canada, in 1954. Recently, several populations have experienced poor recruitment, raising concerns that populations may be experiencing inbreeding depression resulting from a genetic bottleneck. We sampled 117 animals from 5 populations in Oregon and 1 population in Nevada to determine genetic variability within and among populations. We found that Oregon populations had fewer mean alleles per locus (2.2–2.4), lower heterozygosity (0.28–0.36), and higher inbreeding potential than animals from Nevada (3.8 alleles/locus, H = 0.53). These results now provide the baseline for rigorous ongoing evaluation of changes to allelic variability, inbreeding potential, variation among populations, and their effects on population demographics for Oregon's California bighorn sheep program. We suggest that evaluation of genetic variability in other source and recipient populations should be used to further understand how and when genetic management can be used for bighorn sheep conservation and management.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 68 • No. 4