This project investigates spatial organisation and genetic structure of Corsican mouflon in southern France at local and metapopulation levels. The influence of environmental characteristics on gene flow at both levels will be quantified.
Habitat structure and physical environment of a local population (Carou will be mapped from satellite imagery. In a GIS incorporating existing ciata on mouflon ranging behaviour (radio telemetry), the
physical/vegetation characteristics determining spatial organisation will be identified. At regional levels this information will allow comparison of current mouflon range with areas of potential colonisation.
Genetic sub-structuring within a local population and differentiation between populations across southern France will be assessed using DNA microsatellite techniques, relating this to habitat factors (eg. connectivity, corridor availability).
A predictive model will be developed concerning the effects of changes land use on ranging, population trend and genetic fragmentation of this rare species, seeking recommendations regarding 'landscape level' conservation management.