Spatial Population Genetic Structure Of White-Winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca)

Project Number: 8
Year Funded: 2004
Lead Institution(s): USGS Alaska Science Center
Project Lead: Sandra Talbot
Collaborator(s): John Pearce (USGS), USFWS
Location: Alaska
Focal Species: White-winged Scoter (Melanitta delgandi)
Project Description: Like other sea duck species in Alaska, white-winged scoters are experiencing a longterm decline. This makes understanding of population dynamics, including structuring of populations and migratory connectivity, especially important. Conventional and satellite telemetry studies offer the potential for discovery of migration pathways, staging and wintering habitats of breeding birds, but costs are prohibitive due to the large number of experimental birds required and the remote and expansive geographic areas to be evaluated. We are augmenting these approaches by using molecular genetic techniques to identify populations. We are gathering information from the maternally-inherited mitochondrial DNA and from bi-parentally-inherited and sex-linked nuclear microsatellite loci, to characterize breeding and wintering populations of white-winged scoters in Alaska.
Project Reports:
Spatial Population Genetic Structure Of White-Winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca)