Understanding genomic variation in the western ringtail possum and its application to effective conservation management

Date: 08, Nov, 2021
Author(s): Daniel White   Sarah Comer   Adrian Wayne  
Publisher: TSR Hub

In this report, we assess 23,146 recovered single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for the western ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis or ngwayir, pronounced n-wa-yer) from 305 samples and 52 locations, to describe genetic variation across their range. We determined the previously unknown number of genetically distinct populations, diversity within populations and locations quantified and genetic distance between the new populations revealed. We also associate genetically distinct subregions with bioclimatic variables to increase our understanding of environmental conditions across the ngwayir range. We make several recommendations for the the remaining ngwayir populations, including for thier conservation management and recovery planning.