Implications of spatial genetic patterns for conserving African leopards

Ropiquet, Anne ORCID:, Knight, Andrew T., Born, Céline, Martins, Quinton, Balme, Guy, Kirkendall, Lawrence, Hunter, Luke, Senekal, Charl and Matthee, Conrad A. (2015) Implications of spatial genetic patterns for conserving African leopards. Comptes Rendus Biologies, 338 (11) . pp. 728-737. ISSN 1631-0691 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.crvi.2015.06.019)


The leopard (Panthera pardus) is heavily persecuted in areas where it predates livestock and threatens human well-being. Attempts to resolve human–leopard conflict typically involve translocating problem animals; however, these interventions are rarely informed by genetic studies and can unintentionally compromise the natural spatial genetic structure and diversity, and possibly the long-term persistence, of the species. No significant genetic discontinuities were definable within the southern African leopard population. Analysis of fine-scale genetic data derived from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA revealed that the primary natural process shaping the spatial genetic structure of the species is isolation-by-distance (IBD). The effective gene dispersal (s) index can inform leopard translocations and is estimated to be 82 km for some South African leopards. The importance of adopting an evidence-based strategy is discussed for supporting the integration of genetic data, spatial planning and social learning institutions so as to promote collaboration between land managers, government agency staff and researchers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Available online 29 August 2015
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences > Molecular Biology group
Item ID: 17757
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Anne Ropiquet
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2015 09:36
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2020 13:34

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