Genetics of yellowstone bisons

Submitted by editor on 17 December 2014.

In the december Issue of Wildlife Biology you find an interesting paper about genetic diversity of bisons in Yellowstone "Genetic analysis of a Bison bison herd derived from the Yellowstone National Park population" by Julia A. herman and co-workers. Below is their summary of the study:

This project combines wildlife conservation, conservation genetics, and epidemiology to study the effects of infectious disease at the livestock/wildlife interface. We evaluated the genetic diversity of a quarantined herd of Yellowstone National Park bison to provide a genetic monitoring and management tool for future re-established bison herds originating from Yellowstone National Park. Even though our study group only had 89 animals (at the end of our study), a large proportion of Yellowstone National Park bison genetic diversity is preserved which attests to the diversity of each animal within the herd. Along with assessing the genetic inventory and parentage dynamics of the herd through microsatellite analyses, this study is the first documented incident of a mis-mothering event in bison.