In aid of the ʻalalā: aninternship in applied conservation - Event Details

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This event is being held online. TCBES

In aid of the ʻalalā: aninternship in applied conservation

Location: Online

Topic: In aid of the ʻalalā: a multifaceted internship in applied conservation

Presented by: Jeremy Schrader, UH Hilo TCBES MS student

Abstract: Maintenance of genetic diversity presents a critical challenge for the field of conservation that is of particular concern for populations of small size. The ʻalalā (Hawaiian Crow; Corvus hawaiiensis) is a federally and state-listed endangered species of cultural importance, classified as extinct in the wild with approximately 150 individuals in captivity. It is endemic to the island of Hawai’i, where it occupied dry and mesic habitats and served as an important seed disperser. Since being extirpated from the wild in 2002, a carefully-managed captive population split between two facilities on Hawaii and Maui encompasses all living ʻalalā, with all individuals descending from nine wild-caught “founders”. As part of my internship with Keauhou Bird Conservation Center (KBCC), my colleagues and I set out to develop a tool, named the Founder Lineage Integrated Calculator (FLIC), to calculate founder representation—the proportion of each founder’s genetic information—across the entire living population of ʻalalā at a given time. Against a background of challenges regarding heterozygosity and allelic diversity under threat from inbreeding and other factors in the ʻalalā, we sought to develop FLIC to give managers an additional tool for effective conservation of these critically-endangered birds.

I will also discuss my service in supporting the captive breeding, research and ongoing conservation projects at KBCC during my internship, as well as academic work I undertook. I look forward to sharing with you the knowledge and experiences I gained while helping to address the profound challenges of managing a small, at-risk population in which every bit of remaining genetic diversity is precious.

About the graduate student: Jeremy Schrader is a lifetime nature enthusiast originally from California with a keen interest in applied conservation biology and its intersection with genetics. He has always enjoyed sharing his deep love of the natural world with others and seeks to protect Earth’s incredible biodiversity for its future stewards. Jeremy received his B.S. from University of California, San Diego in Ecology, Behavior & Evolution, and will obtain his Master of Science in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Upon the completion of his degree, Jeremy looks forward to applying his experience in education to foster the next generation of inquisitive minds.

For more information, contact: uhhtcbes@hawaii.edu (808) 932-7573

This event is awaiting approval from the Events Coordinators.

Tags: jeremy schrader TCBES alala conservation birds

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