Lost in translocation: genomic consequences of translocation in the Seychelles warbler


Translocation ? the movement of individuals to new areas ? can reduce extinction risk of endangered species. One factor that may critically affect the success of translocations is the amount of genetic diversity that is ?lost in translocation?. If translocated populations lose diversity at ?ecologically important? genes, where variation is under selection, they will lose ?adaptive potential? , be unable to adapt to new challenges or changing environments, and thus be prone to extinction. I will use novel genetic techniques to analyse, for the first time, the effects of translocations on diversity across the entire genome. I will use a model system ? the Seychelles warbler (SW) ? that is uniquely suited to this proposal, as; i) it is an endangered species for which three translocations to new islands have already been carried out (in 1988,1991 and 2004), and ii) all populations have been intensively studied and sampled over time. I will quantify genome-wide diversity in the SW source population, and identify genes important for historical adaptation and contemporary fitness. I will then quantify how and why this crucial diversity has been lost in the translocated SW populations. The results will inform translocation policy, and have a direct impact on endangered species conservation.


Scientific article

Publication meant for a broad audience


Project number


Main applicant

Dr. L.G. Spurgin

Affiliated with

University of East Anglia, School of Biological Sciences

Team members

Dr. L.G. Spurgin


01/09/2012 to 19/10/2015