Journal article

Phylogeography of the Koala, (Phascolarctos cinereus), and Harmonising Data to Inform Conservation

Linda E Neaves, Greta J Frankham, Siobhan Dennison, Sean FitzGibbon, Cheyne Flannagan, Amber Gillett, Emily Hynes, Kathrine Handasyde, Kristofer M Helgen, Kyriakos Tsangaras, Alex D Greenwood, Mark DB Eldridge, Rebecca N Johnson



The Australian continent exhibits complex biogeographic patterns but studies of the impacts of Pleistocene climatic oscillation on the mesic environments of the Southern Hemisphere are limited. The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), one of Australia's most iconic species, was historically widely distributed throughout much of eastern Australia but currently represents a complex conservation challenge. To better understand the challenges to koala genetic health, we assessed the phylogeographic history of the koala. Variation in the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Control Region (CR) was examined in 662 koalas sampled throughout their distribution. In addition, koala CR haplotypes ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by New South Wales Environmental Trust

Awarded by National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the New South Wales Environmental Trust (2014/RD/0015), New South Wales National Parks Foundation and the Australian Museum Foundation. EH was supported by the Australian Bluegum Plantations and PF Olsen Australia, New Forests. Ecoplan Australia Pty Ltd. provided support in the form of salary for EH. Sequencing of historical samples was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to ADG (NIGMS; grant number R01 GM092706). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.We thank Yasuko Ishida, Alfred Roca, Kyle Ewart, Zhoamin Zhou and Andrew King for assistance with generating sequence data and Sandy Ingleby, Anja Divljan, Scott Ginn, Bill Sherwin and Martin Taube for assistance with sample collection. We also wish to thank the New South Wales Environmental Trust, New South Wales National Parks and the Australian Museum Foundation, Australian Bluegum Plantations, PF Olsen Australia, New Forests and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and Parks Victoria for support.