Structured phylogeography and restricted gene flow among populations of Fairy Tern (Sternula nereis) across Australasia: implications for the endangered New Zealand population

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Authors
Baling, Marleen
Brunton, D.H.
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Grantor
Date
2022-01-26
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Type
Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
Australia
New Zealand
New Caledonia
Fairy Tern (Sternula nereis)
conservation genetics
seabirds
Citation
Baling, M., & Brunton, D.H. (2022). Structured phylogeography and restricted gene flow among populations of Fairy Tern (Sternula nereis) across Australasia: implications for the endangered New Zealand population. Ibis: International Journal of Avian Science, 1-9. doi:10.1111/ibi.13048
Abstract
The Fairy Tern Sternula nereis is an Australasian tern that breeds in Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand, with the last having the smallest breeding population, listed as ‘Threatened – Nationally Critical’ by the New Zealand Department of Conservation. Here, we investigate the genetic relatedness and level of endemism (gene flow) of the New Zealand Fairy Tern S. n. davisae population compared with the larger breeding populations in Australia, S. n. nereis, and New Caledonia, S. n. exsul, using the NADH subunit 2 (ND2) region of the mitochondrial DNA. We found that the three main populations (n = 86) were genetically distinct, with a different fixed haplotype restricted to New Zealand (n = 15) and New Caledonia (n = 16), and that the estimated gene flow was low to zero, indicating no interbreeding between the populations. The current genetic evidence is consistent with observations of morphological and behavioural differences among the populations, and we suggest continued independent management of the population in New Zealand and further surveys and independent management of the New Caledonia population.
Publisher
John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ornithologists' Union
Link to ePress publication
DOI
doi:10.1111/ibi.13048
Copyright holder
© 2022 The Authors. Ibis published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ornithologists' Union
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Attribution 4.0 International