A different animal

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Science  11 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6389, pp. 590-592
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6389.590

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In 2017, a California tribe asked the U.S. government to declare a spring run of Chinook, or king, salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) as threatened or endangered—and to protect it separately from genetically similar fish that migrate up the same river later in the year. The tribe's argument hinges on recent genomic studies, which identified a single gene that appears to control whether Chinook salmon, and a closely related species, migrate upriver before or after reaching sexual maturity. The research has sparked a fierce debate among conservation biologists and even the researchers who made the discovery. At its heart is the question of whether a difference in a single gene should be enough to qualify a population for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973.