Date of Award





Earth and Space Science - Environmental Science Track


Earth & Space Science

First Advisor

Julie Ballenger


Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis was used to study the impact of a historical translocation event on populations of white-tailed deer in Georgia. The technique may also serve as a model by which management practices for other rare species can be studied. Populations from an original translocation source in Wisconsin, another Wisconsin population, and three populations in Georgia were sampled during management hunts. RAPD PCR was used to produce a genetic fingerprint for individuals of each population. Resulting band data were analyzed using PHYLIP genetic analysis software. A consensus tree of 100 bootstrapped replicates showed significant similarity between Georgia populations that received translocated deer and the original Wisconsin source populations. This indicated historical genetic impact on a local scale; however, other "native" Georgia populations which did not directly receive translocated individuals showed no evidence of genetic impact. Impact of the translocation was detected in local deer populations as a significant difference between Georgia "native" populations and Georgia populations that received translocated individuals. Low gene flow due to white- tailed deer dispersal behavior is likely to reduce the regional impact of translocations to a local scale.