Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Using Genomics to Understand Population Dynamics and Enhance the Management of Canada Lynx Populations in the Contiguous United States


September 2015 - December 2019


Management of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) populations occurring at the edge of the species range has been informed by limited regional studies mostly focused on demographics and ecology. Tools are needed to provide baseline metrics of population health and an understanding of landscape dynamics to inform regional and range-wide management and monitoring strategies. Next-generation sequencing produces a high density of genetic markers (e.g., single nucleotide polymorphisms, structural variants, mutations) that enhance the precision and reliability of population demographic parameter estimates relevant to conservation practitioners. In September of 2018 we produced the first-ever reference genome for Canada lynx, which will serve as a publicly available community resource and a powerful tool for population-level assessments. Ultimately this work will provide baseline metrics for managing Canada lynx populations in the lower 48 states and management recommendations that conserve or enhance population fitness and resiliency. This project is a multi-disciplinary collaboration including the Massachusetts Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit at UMass Amherst, the Vertebrate Genomes Laboratory at Rockefeller University, the State of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, and the Smithsonian Institution.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 101

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 154

Post Docs: 55

University Staff: 241

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 695

Scientific Publications: 1962

Presentations: 4417



Funding Agencies

  • Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey