Saw Search: old saws shed new light in sawfish conservation

KELCEE SMITH
Grantee University of Southern Mississippi
Location United Kingdom
Grant Amount 23,733
Duration One year

Largetooth sawfish have undergone substantial declines in range and abundance due to bycatch in fisheries, direct exploitation, and habitat degradation, and consequently, are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This grant will support the collection of tissue samples from historic largetooth sawfish saws held in museums in the United Kingdom. Genetic data will be generated from these samples to quantify any loss of genetic diversity in largetooth sawfish population over the past ~100 years and assess their long-term survival outlook. If the levels of genetic diversity in contemporary populations are severely reduced from those of past populations, protecting remaining genetic diversity should be a high conservation priority.