The increasing human intervention in the Atlantic Forest severely damaged the landscape, leaving only fragments of forest currently. The puma (Puma concolor) occurs in this biome and is threatened by the reduction and fragmentation of their habitats. Small and isolated populations can exhibit lower genetic diversity, which reduces the ability of individuals to adapt to environmental changes, making them vulnerable to extinction. Thus, estimate the genetic variation of pumas populations that inhabit the Atlantic Forest remnants is essential to assess the current genetic condition of the species and thus provide grants for the creation of strategies for conservation and management. Fecal samples will be collected in protected areas present in the Serra do Mar and Serra da Mantiqueira. The species depositor will be determined through the DNA extraction and amplification of a region of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, specific to cats. Subsequently the samples of pumas will be individualized using polymorphic microsatellite loci species-specific. With the panel of multilocus genotypes of all sampled individuals will be made estimates of population density, diversity and genetic relatedness in each of the protected areas, and assessment of genetic differentiation between them. The molecular sexing will be performed through the amplification of a portion of the amelogenin gene, aiming to verify the sex ratio in each Conservation Units.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: