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Managing whales at risk : how does population genetics inform marine policy and management?

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  • Overview: In recent years, an increasing number of large whales have become entangled by crab trap lines off the U.S. Pacific coast. Wildlife managers are interested in knowing whether the whales are from threatened or endangered populations. In this lesson, students will learn how whale populations are defined, and how population genetics can be used to help inform marine policy and management.
  • Learning Goals: Students will learn the following: • Genetic data provides information that can help researchers and resource managers identify and protect populations that are at greatest risk. • Genetically distinct populations of organisms can exist in the same area during certain periods of the year. • Knowing the status of the population to which an impacted individual whale belongs can inform how managers respond to threats.
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  • The 2019-20 ORSEA materials are based upon work supported by Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, as well as the National Science Foundation Regional Class Research Vessels under Cooperative Agreement No. 1333564 Award: OCE-1748726.



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