Hume Highway wildlife crossings Road ecology

How did the squirrel glider’s genes cross the road? Wildlife crossing structures are no joke

I had the fantastic opportunity to blog about our latest research paper over at The Applied Ecologist Blog. Read on for more about how wildlife crossing structures along the Hume Freeway affect gene flow for squirrel gliders.

The Applied Ecologist

Punchlines aside, in this blog Kylie Soanes shares insights from her recent article, Evaluating the success of wildlife crossing structures using genetic approaches and an experimental design: Lessons from a gliding mammal.

Wildlife crossing structures are a common answer to the age-old question: ‘How did the animal cross the road?’ Tunnels and bridges for wildlife are being built and used by animals all over the world, from pygmy possums to salamanders, grizzly bearsto elephants(though, ironically, not the humble chicken).

In this study, we were interested in what happens after the animals get to the other side. Can these crossings reconnect animal populations that have been isolated by roads? Do they promote dispersal and gene flow?

We investigated this for the squirrel glider, a pocket-sized gliding possum, in south-east Australia. Squirrel gliders are an ideal study species to test questions about barriers and movement. These tree-dwellers don’t…

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