Holly B Ernest

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Twelve microsatellite loci were characterized in California mountain lions (Puma concolor) and sufficient polymorphism was found to uniquely genotype 62 animals sampled at necropsy. Microsatellite genotypes obtained using mountain lion faecal DNA matched those from muscle for all of 15 individuals examined. DNA from potential prey species and animals whose(More)
Analysis of 12 microsatellite loci from431 mountain lions (Puma concolor)revealed distinct genetic subdivision that wasassociated with geographic barriers andisolation by distance in California. Levels ofgenetic variation differed among geographicregions, and mountain lions that inhabitedcoastal areas exhibited less heterozygositythan those sampled inland.(More)
Swainson’s Hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are large raptors with a breeding distribution extending across much of western North America where they were historically considered one of the most abundant raptors. Swainson’s Hawks have declined precipitously in many parts of their range during the 20th century, and the historical range in California has been much(More)
Little is known about the relationship between animal movements and the emergent structure of populations, especially for species occupying large continuous distributions. Some such mammals disperse disproportionately into habitat similar to their natal habitat, a behavioural bias that might be expected to lead to habitat-conforming genetic structure. We(More)
A recent region-wide study determined that the central California coyote (Canis latrans) population was genetically subdivided according to habitat bioregions, supporting the hypothesis that coyotes exhibit a dispersal bias toward their natal habitat type. Here, we further investigated this hypothesis using radio-collared coyotes captured on a 150-km(2)(More)
Pumas (Puma concolor; also known as mountain lions and cougars) in southern California live among a burgeoning human population of roughly 20 million people. Yet little is known of the consequences of attendant habitat loss and fragmentation, and human-caused puma mortality to puma population viability and genetic diversity. We examined genetic status of(More)
Genes at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are known for high levels of polymorphism maintained by balancing selection. In small or bottlenecked populations, however, genetic drift may be strong enough to overwhelm the effect of balancing selection, resulting in reduced MHC variability. In this study we investigated MHC evolution in two recently(More)
Large carnivores can be particularly sensitive to the effects of habitat fragmentation on genetic diversity [1, 2]. The Santa Monica Mountains (SMMs), a large natural area within Greater Los Angeles, is completely isolated by urban development and the 101 freeway to the north. Yet the SMMs support a population of mountain lions (Puma concolor), a very rare(More)
The tendency for individuals to disperse into habitat similar to their natal habitat has been observed in a wide range of species, although its population genetic consequences have received little study. Such behavior could lead to discrete habitat-specific population subdivisions even in the absence of physical dispersal barriers or habitat gaps. Previous(More)
Landscape-scale population genetic structure in vagile vertebrates was commonly considered to be a contradiction in terms whereas recent studies have demonstrated behaviour and habitat associated structure in several such species. We investigate whether landscape features influence morphological and genetic differentiation in a widespread, mobile raptor. To(More)