Managing small populations: the Florida panther as a case study

This seminar will be hybrid, taking place in the ZRAB Seminar Room and on Zoom. For Zoom joining details, please see the booking link.

Many wildlife populations exist in small numbers, often in fragmented or isolated habitat patches. Small populations, especially those that are isolated from other conspecific populations, face a high risk of extinction due to the interactive effects of deterministic and stochastic forces. Madan will share their experience of working with a small, isolated population of the endangered Florida panther, which had declined to 20 to 30 individuals by the 1990s.

The population suffered from a multitude of biomedical abnormalities thought to be indicative of inbreeding, and poor demographic vigor. In an attempt to alleviate the negative effects of inbreeding, a genetic management initiative was implemented. Madan will discuss the response of the panther population to the genetic management initiative, assess current status, and discuss future prospects.