Conservation and Management of Trachemys venusta venusta in Southern Mexico: A Genetic Approach

Periodo de realización: 1900/01/01 al 2020/01/01

Tipo: Artículo científico

Lugar(es) de estudio: Tabasco, México
Resumen: "The Meso-Ame rican s lider tur tle ( Trac hemys venusta) is a freshwater turtle that is widely distributed from Mexico to Colombia. Due to the overexploitation of populations of this species in Mexico, it has been placed within the “subject to special protection” category formulated by the Official Mexican Standard NOM-059-ECOL-2010. In the state of Tabasco, Mexico, Management Units for the Conservation of Wildlife (UMA) were created to reduce the impact of overexploitation of freshwater turtles bred in captivity. However, no genetic management plan was considered. The present study was carried out in an UMA in the state of Tabasco. We obtained the level of genetic diversity of the founder individuals of the UMA in order to develop a management plan which will optimize reproduction in the UMA. Genetic diversity was compared between captive (n ¼ 86) and wild (n ¼ 45) individuals using 14 microsatellite molecular markers. The genetic diversity parameter determined in this study was slightly higher for captive than for wild population ( He ¼ 0.606 and He ¼ 0.594 respectively), reflecting the mix of genetic sources in captive group (founding individuals from different localities) and demonstrating that the captive population contains a diverse subset of alleles from representative populations. The analysis of genetic structure revealed a relationship between captive and wild populations, indicating the influence of the two principal river basins in this region on the populations structure of freshwater turtles. Finally, according to the results obtained from the relationship analysis, we recommend the use of 19 females and 13 males to constitute the appropriate breeding group, generating a potential of 247 dyads with no relationship. However, in order to improve breeding program and the genetic diversity of captive population, we suggest to introduce wild-caught individuals. These results are the first regarding genetic management in a Mexican UMA and demonstrate the importance of molecular approaches in the management and conservation of captive species."

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