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Webinar Series: Landscape Connectivity of a Sagebrush Obligate - Functional Continuity of Habitat for the Pygmy Rabbit


  • Marjorie Matocq, University of Nevada Reno
  • John Kasbohm, Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex


Pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) are habitat specialists of sagebrush communities throughout the Great Basin. Overgrazing, altered fire regimes, invasive plants and energy development are expected to impact natural patterns of dispersal and gene flow among wildlife populations in sagebrush ecosystems, including pygmy rabbits. In turn, these impacts may reduce the adaptive potential and persistence of local populations. This presentation will discuss a recent study on the spatial distribution of genetic variation in pygmy rabbits. Researchers developed habitat suitability models at the rangewide scale to determine whether patterns of genetic diversity are consistent with current habitat availability. The models were also used to identify areas that may be at risk of declining genetic diversity due to habitat loss.

This webinar is part of the Great Basin LCC 2016 webinar series. Learn more and register for upcoming webinars.

Did you miss the last webinar, "Predicting climate change impacts on big sagebrush populations: Diverse models project similar response to rising temperatures"? Watch the recording on the Great Basin LCC YouTube page.