Commercial harvest severely reduced the abundance of New Zealand fur seals (NZFSs; Arctocephalus australis forsteri), and the subspecies may have become regionally extinct in Western Australia (WA). NZFS populations are now expanding in WA and this study aimed to determine the origin of these populations and distinguish local recruitment from external recolonization. Mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene sequences were obtained from 137 NZFSs from breeding colonies in WA and South Australia (SA), and analyzed with sequences from Tasmania and New Zealand. Genetic differentiation among WA and SA populations was low, indicating extensive genetic exchange throughout this large region. Three unique haplotypes, however, were recorded from WA, supporting the local recruitment hypothesis. Moreover, a test for asymmetrical gene flow identified a predominance of migration from WA to SA, suggesting a role of WA NZFSs in the recovery of more heavily exploited SA NZFS populations. Significant genetic differentiation was evident between SA and Tasmania, indicating limited genetic exchange despite the close proximity of these populations. Examination of our data suggests NZFSs were not extirpated from WA, have retained unique genetic variants, and that peripheral, low-density populations may have had a role in the recolonization of heavily exploited populations.
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. 93 • No. 2