When a species’ habitat shrinks, its populations decline. Individuals that persist in remaining islands of habitat have no choice but to breed with their relatives, reducing the health and fertility of their offspring. Researchers at Monash University seek to increase genetic diversity in small populations, helping them rebound. They have established ‘genetic rescue’ methods to save many endangered species from extinction, collaborating with wildlife agencies to test solutions.
About the video:
In 2021, we funded research with Dr. Alexandra Pavlova to develop new bioinformatic tools for detecting inbreeding depression, predicting outbreeding depression, and optimizing assisted gene flow efforts. Fitness and genomics data from the Helmeted Honeyeater, Lowland Leadbeater’s possums, and Macquarie perch mentioned in this video informed the models that underlie these new analytic tools.
This research was funded through the Catalyst Science Fund. The goal of the Catalyst Science Fund is to support proof-of-concept science that advances the development of new biotechnology tools for conservation.