Mark J Statham

Mark J Statham
University of California, Davis | UCD · Veterinary Genetics Laboratory

PhD
Currently managing projects on the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, kangaroo rats, and harvest mice.

About

52
Publications
12,067
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Introduction
I combine fieldwork and population genetic/genomics to address evolutionary and natural history questions in populations of wild animals. Much of my work is applied to the conservation of endangered species and populations. I am a member of the salt marsh harvest mouse group, a group comprising both research scientists and US state and federal resource agencies, and dedicated to improving the species status. Currently managing projects on the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, kangaroo rats, and mice.
Additional affiliations
October 2005 - June 2008
Kansas State University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (52)
Article
Widely distributed taxa provide an opportunity to compare biogeographic responses to climatic fluctuations on multiple continents and to investigate speciation. We conducted the most geographically and genomically comprehensive study to date of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), the world's most widely distributed wild terrestrial carnivore. Analyses of...
Article
Full-text available
Noninvasive fecal sampling combined with genetic analysis is a technique allowing the study of elusive or otherwise difficult to monitor species without the need for direct contact. Although this method is widely used in birds and mammals, it has never been successfully applied on a large scale in reptiles. The blunt‐nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia...
Article
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The red wolf (Canis rufus) of the eastern US was driven to near‐extinction by colonial‐era persecution and habitat conversion, which facilitated coyote (C. latrans) range expansion and widespread hybridization with red wolves. The observation of some gray wolf (C. lupus) ancestry within red wolves sparked controversy over whether it was historicall...
Article
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The salt marsh harvest mouse (SMHM; Reithrodontomys raviventris) is a state and federally listed endangered species endemic to the coastal marshes of the San Francisco Estuary of California. Of two subspecies, the southern (R. r. raviventris) is most endangered and lacks reliable morphological field tools to distinguish from the sympatric western h...
Article
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Preserving the genetic diversity of endangered species is fundamental to their conservation and requires an understanding of genetic structure. In turn, identification of landscape features that impede gene flow can facilitate management to mitigate such obstacles and help with identifying isolated populations. We conducted a landscape genetic stud...
Article
Carnivores tend to exhibit a lack of (or less pronounced) genetic structure at continental scales in both a geographic and temporal sense and this can confound the identification of post‐glacial colonization patterns in this group. In this study we used genome‐wide data (using Genotyping‐by‐Sequencing (GBS)) to reconstruct the phylogeographic histo...
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Though mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) persist in robust populations throughout most of their North American distribution, habitat loss, unregulated hunting and other factors have reduced their historical range in México. Two of the six putative subspecies inhabiting México’s deserts and Baja California peninsula are of conservation concern, occupy...
Article
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The critically endangered Amargosa vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis) is found only in rare marsh habitat near Tecopa, California in a plant community dominated by three-square bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus). Since the earliest research on the Amargosa vole, the existing paradigm has been that these voles are obligatorily dependent on bul...
Preprint
Full-text available
Carnivores tend to exhibit a lack of (or less pronounced) genetic structure at continental scales in both a geographic and temporal sense using various mitochondrial DNA markers on modern and/or ancient specimens. This tends to confound the identification of refugial areas and post-glacial colonization patterns in this group. In this study we used...
Article
Movement ecology and dispersal capabilities inherently drive genetic structure across landscapes. Through understanding dispersal and gene flow of giant kangaroo rats (Dipodomys ingens), conservation efforts can be focused, and we can further understand how genetic structure persists in this highly endemic small mammal. Here, we genetically identif...
Article
From a conservation management perspective it is important to understand how genetic diversity is partitioned across a species’ range, including 1) identification of evolutionarily distinct units versus those recently isolated through anthropogenic activities and 2) the relative genetic contributions among components of fragmented (meta)populations...
Article
Temperate terrestrial species in Europe were hypothesized to have been restricted to southern peninsular refugia (Iberia, Italy, Balkans) during the height of the last glacial period. However, recent analyses of fossil evidence indicate that some temperate species existed outside these areas during the last glacial maximum (LGM). Red foxes (Vulpes...
Article
Full-text available
The salt marsh harvest mouse (SMHM, Reithrodontomys raviventris) is an endangered species, endemic to the San Francisco Estuary. Despite being protected for almost half a century and being included in a large number of recovery, restoration, and management plans, significant data gaps hinder conservation and management of the species, a challenge f...
Article
Understanding the response of boreal species to past climate warming can help to predict future responses to climate change. In the Northern Hemisphere, the distribution and abundance of northern populations have been influenced by previous glaciations. In this study, we investigated the population history of the Fennoscandian red fox (Vulpes vulpe...
Article
Full-text available
The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) occurs on multiple continents in diverse habitats, making it an informative system for evolutionary genomic research. However, its phylogeography remains unclear. Previously, mitochondrial DNA and small numbers of nuclear loci provided discordant views. Both markers indicated deep divergence (~ 0.5 MY) between Eurasian a...
Article
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Global climate change induces species range shifts and population expansion to higher latitudes in response to rising temperatures. One consequence of climate-induced range shifts is an increased sympatry between related but previously isolated species, potentially resulting in interspecific interactions and hybridization. The Arctic is more rapidl...
Article
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Fur-animal farms can affect the genetic constitution of wild conspecifics through escape and subsequent interbreeding. We studied this problem in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) on the Canadian island of Newfoundland, where a large commercial fox farm (the only large farm on the island) has operated adjacent to the native wild red fox population for >30...
Article
The red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) indigenous to the mountains of the western United States are high-elevation specialists that could face range reduction due to climatic warming, as well as potential encroachment, loss of adaptive alleles, and displacement by introduced nonnative red foxes. We investigated the genetic integrity of the native Rocky Moun...
Article
The Sacramento Valley red fox Vulpes vulpes patwin of California is a newly named subspecies recently found to be distinct both from other native red foxes and nearby introduced populations. The Sacramento Valley red fox experienced a historical demographic bottleneck resulting in a critically small genetic effective population size, causing concer...
Article
Questions concerning the effects on other wildlife species by coyotes (Canis latrans) in recently colonized areas, including the southeastern United States, continue to receive attention in the literature. Coyote abundance estimates, achieved via genetic sampling of feces, can be useful in answering such questions. However, rapid degradation of fec...
Article
Full-text available
The salt marsh harvest mouse (SMHM, Reithrodontomys raviventris) is an endangered species endemic to the San Francisco Bay region of California, USA, where habitat loss and fragmentation over the past century have reduced the mouse’s distribution to <25 % of its historical range. To aid in conservation prioritization, we first investigated the poss...
Article
Red foxes were absent or rare in the southeastern United States until the late 1800s. Their origins potentially include natural population increase/expansion, translocations from Europe, and, eventually, 20th century fur farming. Previous studies have found no European haplotypes in North America, but few samples were sourced from the Atlantic coas...
Article
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Pleistocene aridification in central North America caused many temperate forest-associated vertebrates to split into eastern and western lineages. Such divisions can be cryptic when Holocene expansions have closed the gaps between once-disjunct ranges or when local morphological variation obscures deeper regional divergences. We investigated such c...
Article
Population expansions of boreal species are among the most substantial ecological consequences of climate change, potentially transforming both structure and processes of northern ecosystems. Despite their importance, little is known about expansion dynamics of boreal species. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are forecasted to become a keystone species in...
Article
Western North America contains a mosaic of indigenous and introduced red fox (Vulpes vulpes) populations. Historically, native red foxes occurred in subalpine zones of the Cascade, Rocky, and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges, and in the desert-like Sacramento Valley of California. The origins of red foxes observed in the Intermountain West since the e...
Article
Recent evidence from across the southeastern United States indicating high predation rates by coyotes (Canis latrans) on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns has led some managers to implement coyote control. Although some evidence suggests coyote control can improve recruitment, success appears to be site dependent. Therefore, we desig...
Article
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The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) expanded its distribution over large parts of the Canadian Arctic during the twentieth century and is now considered a threat to the arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus). Some authors have proposed that the European red fox, introduced in Eastern North America during the eighteenth century, may have spread and caused the species’...
Article
The salt marsh harvest mouse (SMHM, Reithrodontomys raviventris) only exists in a patchwork of salt marshes scattered throughout the San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun Bays of California. The species has declined significantly from its historical distribution due to habitat loss and fragmentation and is categorized as an endangered species under...
Article
Full-text available
Quaternary climatic fluctuations have had profound effects on the phylogeographic structure of many species. Classically, species were thought to have become isolated in peninsular refugia, but there is limited evidence that large, non-polar species survived outside traditional refugial areas. We examined the phylogeographic structure of the red fo...
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Full-text available
The present study examined the contemporary genetic composition of the Eurasian badger, Meles meles, in Ireland, Britain and Western Europe, using six nuclear microsatellite loci and a 215-bp fragment of the mitochondrial DNA control region. Significant population structure was evident within Europe (global multilocus microsatellite FST = 0.205, P...
Article
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The Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) occurred historically throughout the high elevations of California's Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Mountains. Before this study, the only known remaining population in California consisted of ≤ 20 individuals restricted to the Lassen Peak region in the southern Cascades. In August 2010, we phot...
Article
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Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are native to boreal and western montane portions of North America but their origins are unknown in many lowland areas of the United States. Red foxes were historically absent from much of the East Coast at the time of European settlement and did not become common until the mid-1800s. Some early naturalists described an ap...
Article
Full-text available
Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are native to boreal and western montane portions of North America but their origins are unknown in many lowland areas of the United States. Red foxes were historically absent from much of the East Coast at the time of European settlement and did not become common until the mid-1800s. Some early naturalists described an ap...
Article
The foxes at Novosibirsk, Russia, are the only population of domesticated foxes in the world. These domesticated foxes originated from farm-bred silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes), whose genetic source is unknown. In this study we examined the origin of the domesticated strain of foxes and two other farm-bred fox populations (aggressive and unselected) m...
Article
Introduced species can threaten native taxa in multiple ways, including competition and hybridization, which can reduce fitness, alter ecological niches or swamp native genomes. Encroachment and hybridization by introduced species also provide opportunities to study the dynamics of invasiveness and hybridization during early stages following contac...
Article
Full-text available
Most native red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in the western contiguous United States appear to be climatically restricted to colder regions in the major mountain ranges and, in some areas, have suffered precipitous declines in abundance that may be linked to warming trends. However, another population of unknown origin has occurred in arid habitats in the...
Article
Reintroduction of terrestrial vertebrates with the goal of ecosystem restoration typically establishes small and isolated populations that may experience reduced genetic variability due to founder effects and genetic drift. Understanding the genetic structure of these populations and maintaining adequate genetic diversity is important for long-term...
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SNPs are fast becoming the marker of choice in population genetics studies of model organisms. However, a lack of efficient means to assay sufficient numbers of SNPs in non-model organisms has prevented their widespread use for conservation-related applications. We established a SNP genotyping assay (including development of new SNP markers) for de...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the feasibility of using genetic techniques to census pine marten (Martes martes) populations by genotyping non-invasively collected samples (plucked hair and scats), with particular reference to the genetically depauperate Irish population. Novel real-time polymerase chain reaction methods were developed for species and sex identif...
Article
Full-text available
Fossil, archaeological, and morphometric data suggest that indigenous red foxes in North America were derived from vicariance in two disjunct refugia during the last glaciation: one in Beringia and one in the contiguous USA. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a phylogeographical analysis of the North American red fox within its presettlement ran...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring wildlife species by DNA identification of samples collected non-invasively is an important tool in conservation management. DNA identification of species from faecal (scat) samples is problematic due to the small quantities and poor quality of the DNA isolated from such samples. This study demonstrates the use of real-time PCR technology...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change during the late Quaternary has been implicated as the cause of both massive range shifts and extinction events. We combined molecular marker data and previously published fossil data to reconstruct the late Quaternary history of a grassland-dependent species, the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), and to determine whether popula...
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Gender determination in natural populations is essential for understanding population dynamics and structure, and also for making associated management decisions (Eggert et al. 2003, Shaw et al. 2003). Knowledge of the sex of remaining individuals in a population (Griffiths and Tiwari 1995) or of the sex ratio is very important when considering the...
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The mustelids found in Ireland are Martes martes (pine marten), Mustela vison (American mink), Lutra lutra (otter), Meles meles (badger) and Mustela erminea hibernica (Irish stoat). A DNA test has been developed to unambiguously identify scat or hair samples by amplification and restriction enzyme analysis of the mitochondrial D-loop region. Sequen...

Projects

Projects (3)
Archived project
Collection of research projects on the conservation, natural history, and population genetics of species in the weasel family.