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Genetic variations in the midcontinental population of sandhill crane, Grus canadenis

January 1, 2003

Three subspecies of sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) are recognized in the Midcontinental population, the lesser (Grus c. canadensis), Canadian (G. c. rowani), and greater (G. c. tabida). Blood samples collected on the population's primary spring staging area in Nebraska, U.S.A., were used to resolve the genetic relationship among these subspecies. Phylogenetic analysis of 27 G. canadensis, by DNA sequencing of a 675 bp region of the mtDNA, supports the subspecies designations of G. c. canadensis and G. c. tabida. G. c. rowani individuals were intermediate with each of the other two subspecies. Genetic divergence ranged from 6.5 to 14.5% between G. c. canadensis and G. c. tabida, 0.5 to 6.6% within G. c. canadensis, and 0.1 to 6.0% within G. c. tabida. Sufficient DNA for analysis was obtained from shed feathers indicating a source of genetic material that does not require the capture or sacrifice of the birds. Other genetic markers and methods, including satellite telemetry, are required for obtaining detailed information on crane distributions as needed to establish effective management units for the MCP.

Publication Year 2003
Title Genetic variations in the midcontinental population of sandhill crane, Grus canadenis
DOI 10.1023/A:1020985427461
Authors Jessica L. Petersen, Richard Bischof, Gary Krapu, Allen L. Szalanski
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Biochemical Genetics
Index ID 1001893
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center