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Genetic Assessments of Jabiru Storks Important for Conservation

Jabiru storks are large waterbirds that are found in wetland areas in Central America, northern South America, and southern Brazil. They are considered regionally threatened in Central America due to habitat availability. Little is known about the current and historic population structure of jabirus. USGS scientist Susan Haig and co-authors from Brazil used genetic tools to provide the first species-wide assessment of jabiru storks over their entire range. They also compared historic and contemporary genetic diversity in birds from the same locations. Findings showed lower levels of genetic diversity in Central American and northern South American populations when compared to the Brazilian population. If genetic structure is a goal of management agencies, reconnection of populations, particularly in Central America, would be important. The information will be beneficial to the development of conservation strategies to restore genetic diversity in all populations.

Lopes, I.F., Haig, S.M., Del Lama, S.N., 2010, Genetic characterization of neotropical jabiru storks- Insights for conservation: Waterbirds, v. 33, no. 4, p. 425-437. [Details]

Contact: Susan Haig, FRESC, 541-750-0981, Profile

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