The application of fluctuating asymmetry in the monitoring of wildlife populations

Stephen SARRE, John DEARN, Arthur GEORGES

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The maintenance of fitness levels is an important part of the management of animal populations. Unfortunately, measuring fitness and determining the relative contributions of genetic and environmental components to that fitness represent considerable problems for management. The simple and inexpensive method of measuring non directional asymmetry (fluctuating asymmetry) in bilateral morphological characters may provide a useful contribution to this problem. The relationship of levels of fluctuating asymmetry to fitness has been explored at considerable length in the scientific literature but this knowledge has yet to be used effectively by wildlife managers. We examine the potential of fluctuating asymmetry as a management tool and show by use of a case study of island and mainland populations of lizards, how it may be used as a comparative tool in which to determine populations that require management priority.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)118-122
    Number of pages4
    JournalPacific Conservation Biology
    Issue number118-122
    Publication statusPublished - 1994


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