Caribou Genetics

Proponent

University of Calgary

Contract

2017-18-19

Amount Awarded

$11,350

Final Report

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Gather genetic information for Yukon caribou belonging to different herds. Thanks to a collaboration with the Fish and Wildlife Branch, Yukon Department of Environment, we already have samples, telemetry locations and morphometric measures (obtained during captures) of 88 animals belonging to 10 herds (Carcoss, Coal River, Hart River, Kluane, Klaza, Laberge, South Nahanni, Tay River, Clear Creek and Moose Lake) and we are planning to acquire more blood/tissue samples to represent Yukon herds (approx. 20 caribou/herd where available). From the samples, we will extract DNA and obtain a dataset of genetic profiles of each sampled caribou individual [10, 11]. Determining adaptations, hybridization and genetic similarities between individuals are the main objectives in the analysis of SNPs for caribou in Yukon.
Second, we will investigate the ecology of caribou in Yukon. We will analyze satellite relocation data of radio collared animals, as well as morphometric traits to determine ecological differences \ between individuals. Third, we will correlate genetic to ecological results through an association study. Substantially, we will be able to understand if caribou individuals are differently adapted to different habitat.