In this study, we built an individual-based computer simulation model to examine how actual culling and hunting strategies influence the effective population size (Ne) and allelic diversity in Yellowstone bison over 200 years (∼28 generations). These simulations suggest that fluctuations in population census size do not necessarily accelerate the loss of genetic variation, at least for the relatively large census size and growing populations such as in Yellowstone bison. They also suggest that the conservation of high allelic diversity (>95%) at loci with many alleles (e.g., ⩾5) will require maintenance of a populations size greater than approximately 3250 and removal of mainly or only juveniles.
More information and paper available at: (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320712001395)
Biological Conservation, 150 (1):159-166. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2012.02.022.
Keywords: Allelic diversity; Effective population size; Simulation modelling; Age structure; Population growth rate; Population viability; Genomic diversity; Conservation genetics; Yellowstone bison