A new study, ‘Extremely Low mtDNA Diversity and High Genetic Differentiation Reveal the Precarious Genetic Status of Dugongs in New Caledonia, South Pacific’ by Garrigue et. al, assesses the New Caledonian dugong population’s resilience by determining its level of genetic diversity and degree of isolation relative to other populations worldwide.
The results of the study show that the dugong population in New Caledonia is particularly isolated, fragile, and vulnerable to anthropogenic threats and diseases with low potential for resilience through incoming gene flow.
These new findings call for an instant conservation response and consideration for IUCN population assessment to support the long-term survival of the New Caledonian dugong population.
Dr. Claire Garrigue and Dr. Christophe Cleguer are long standing partners of the Dugong MoU. Garrigue coordinated the recent awareness raising project in New Caledonia, ‘Science en Herbe’, and Cleguer provides technical advice and capacity building to the Seagrass Ecosystems Project and the ‘Enhancing the role of local communities in dugong and seagrass conservation’ project in Bahrain.
The full article is available to read here
Garrigue, C. et. al (2022) Extremely Low mtDNA Diversity and High Genetic Differentiation Reveal the Precarious Genetic Status of Dugongs in New Caledonia, South Pacific. Journal of Heredity,esac029.