Phylogeography of the iconic Australian red-tailed black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) and implications for its conservation

Kyle M Ewart, Nathan Lo, Rob Ogden, Leo Joseph, Simon Y. W. Ho, Greta J Frankham, Mark D. B. Eldridge, Richard Schodde , Rebecca N Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Advances in sequencing technologies have revolutionized wildlife conservation genetics. Analysis of genomic datasets can provide high-resolution estimates of genetic structure, genetic diversity, gene flow, and evolutionary history. These data can be used to characterize conservation units and to effectively manage the genetic health of species in a broad evolutionary context. Here we utilize thousands of genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and mitochondrial DNA to provide the first genetic assessment of the Australian red-tailed black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii), a widespread bird species comprising populations of varying conservation concern. We identified five evolutionarily significant units, which are estimated to have diverged during the Pleistocene. These units are only partially congruent with the existing morphology-based subspecies taxonomy. Genetic clusters inferred from mitochondrial DNA differed from those based on SNPs and were less resolved. Our results highlight the utility of considering the phylogeographic relationships inferred from SNPs when characterizing conservation units. Our study has a range of conservation and taxonomic implications for this species. In particular, we provide advice on the potential genetic rescue of the endangered and restricted-range subspecies C. b. graptogyne. Further, we propose that the western C. b. samueli population is diagnosable as a separate subspecies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHeredity
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2020

Keywords

  • Calyptorhynchus banksii
  • conservation genetics
  • phylogeography
  • population genomics
  • SNPs

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