Andean and California condors possess dissimilar genetic composition but exhibit similar demographic histories
JULIAN PADRO; SERGIO LAMBERTUCCI; PAULA PERRIG; PAULI, JONATHAN N.
Ecology and Evolution
John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Año: 2020 vol. 10 p. 13011 - 13021
While genetic diversity of threatened species is a major concern of conservation biologists, historic patterns of genetic variation are often unknown. A powerful approach to assess patterns and processes of genetic erosion is via ancient DNA techniques. Herein, we analyzed mtDNA from historical samples (1800s to present) of Andean Condors (Vultur gryphus) to investigate whether contemporary low genetic variability is the result of recent human expansion and persecution, and compared this genetic history to that of California condors (Gymnogyps californianus).We then explored historic demographies for both species via coalescent simulations. We found that Andean condors have lost at least 17% of their genetic variation in the early 20th century. Unlike California condors, however, low mtDNA diversity in the Andean condor was mostly ancient, before European arrival. However, we found that both condor species shared similar demographies in that population bottlenecks were recent and co‐occurred with the introduction of livestock to the Americas and the global collapse of marine mammals. Given the combined information on genetic and demographic processes, we suggest that the protection of key habitats should be targeted for conserving extant genetic diversity and facilitate the natural recolonization of lost territories, while nuclear genomic data should be used to inform translocation plans.