Trouble In Paradise

Natalie Costa & Jocelyn Guzman

Our names are Natalie Costa and Jocelyn Guzman. We are mammologists who specialize in the reproductive strategies of animals.The Department of Nature and Island Resources of the West Indies recently came to us with a problem concerning a population of rodents on St. Kitts called Sciurus vulgaris. The rodents on St. Kitts, are struggling to survive and reproduce. When surveying a nerdy island, named Nevis island, we noticed that the rodent population there was thriving. Based on the evidence we have gathered, we are to come up with a way to save the rodent population of St. Kitts.

Recently there was a flood on St. Kitts that wiped out a large portion of the population. Most of the rodents that did survive did not have the trait that allows them to blend with the ground. This is the bottleneck effect. Now the offspring of the surviving rodents do not blend in and are easier to be spotted by predators. .

We decided to introduce the rodents from Nevis Island, called Sciurus carolinensis, and introduce them to St. Kitts to strengthen the population and see if interbreeding between the two populations would work.

After a while we realized that the two species could not produce fertile offspring despite looking the same.

We came up with the hypothesis that the two species had been the same at some point but were now different. We realized that the terrain on the different islands were different colors. The lighter gray rodents did well on Nevis island while the darker red did better on St. Kitts. The flood left lighter gray colored rodents on St. Kitts instead of the darker red. So introducing the rodents from Nevis Island did not help because they were lighter. The mating process also did not work because of Prezygotic Reproduction Isolation-Behavioral Isolation. The rodents on St. Kitts had a much shorter courtship time while the rodents from Nevis Island spent longer on courtship. Therefore, the rodents of St. Kitts were impatient while the rodents of Nevis Island refused to mate more quickly.

"Shannon and I Reminisce Cycling in SKB -"Lovingthebikecom Shannon and I Reminisce Cycling in SKB Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.