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The rapid expansion of road networks has reduced connectivity among populations of flora and fauna. The resulting isolation is assumed to increase population extinction rates, in part because of the loss of genetic diversity. However, there are few cases where loss of genetic diversity has been linked directly to roads or other barriers. We analysed the effects of such barriers on connectivity and genetic diversity of 27 populations of Ovis canadensis nelsoni (desert bighorn sheep). We used partial Mantel tests, multiple linear regression and coalescent simulations to infer changes in gene flow and diversity of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers. Our findings link a rapid reduction in genetic diversity (up to...
I studied desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis, nelsoni) behavior and habitat use in response to boating activities during 1985. The percent of total observed time in attention behavior before the boating season, during the boating season, and while riverboats were < 0.8 km from bighorn sheep groups was 1, 1.4, and 12.2, respectively. Estimated energy expenditure did not significantly differ for high riverboat pressures (p > 0.2) or seasonal comparisons (p > 0.1). Habitat use significantly differed for proximity to the river, which was probably related to the summer use of the river for drinking. Moderate, minor, and no responses to passing riverboats were observed 3, 39, s and 58%, respectively. Responses to riverboats...