Genetic assessment of priority taxa and management priorities

Date: 02, Nov, 2020
Author(s):   Craig Moritz
Publisher: TSR Hub

Having good genomic data helps to refine and improve the classification of species and identify highly divergent genetic populations within species. Conservation assessments that are based on traditional methods of classification (morphological taxonomy, or classification based on the animals’ appearance and physiology) can fail to detect important variation within species. An initial expert assessment by the CBA concluded that this is the case for many vertebrate species prioritised by the Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel for actions following the 2019–20 fires. This project will summarise genetic information that is available for priority vertebrate species to enable the Expert Panel and state and territory agencies to make better informed assessments of the impacts of the fires on those species. Where it is possible (i.e, where samples are available), the project will also generate new data on genetic diversity and species boundaries for species that are particularly heavily impacted by the fires and consequently prioritised by agency partners.