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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE UPDATES & CHANGES: As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we experienced a number of cancellations and changes to the schedule. Cancellations and changes are listed here (as of January 26, 2019). 
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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(NEW) (STUDENT RESEARCH POSTER 11) Testing Michigan Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) for Genetic Bottlenecking

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AUTHORS: Kelly Mildebrandt, Lake Superior State University

ABSTRACT: Population genetics play a crucial role in wildlife conservation and management. Severe genetic bottlenecks can cause problems for long term viability of wild populations. Michigan’s elk population was reestablished in 1918 from seven known individuals of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni). Within the last 100 years that population grew to almost 1,400 individuals, declined to 200, and is now close to 1,200 elk. With the dramatic fluctuation in population size and the low number of founding members, evidence of genetic bottlenecking would be expected. Acquiring data on the genetic status of the Michigan elk herd would help wildlife managers and biologists make decisions on how to keep the local population healthy and thriving. Ninety two tissue samples were obtained from the 2017 Michigan Elk Hunt in Atlanta, MI. These are currently being analyzed for genetic diversity and evidence of genetic bottlenecking. The results will be also compared with recent research on the Rocky Mountain elk in its natural range.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm EST

Attendees (3)