Preliminary data suggests genetic distinctiveness of gyr and saker falcons

Nick Dawnay*, Ross McEwing, Roger S. Thorpe, Rob Ogden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The inadequately controlled trade in gyr and saker falcons has lead to saker falcons becoming endangered and both species being CITES listed. However, the phylogenetic relationship between these nominal species is unresolved preventing their molecular identification and limiting the availability of data for conservation management. This study amplified DNA from the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene and nine nuclear microsatellite markers to highlight previously unobserved genetic differences between these two putative species. Results show that gyr and saker are paraphyletic using COI and therefore indistinguishable using this marker. However, the microsatellite allele frequency differences suggest that it is possible to assign an unidentified bird to its correct species with 98% accuracy. The results suggest the two species should be monitored separately to ensure short term conservation success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-707
Number of pages5
JournalConservation genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • species identification
  • saker falcon
  • gyr falcon
  • microsatellites
  • COI


Dive into the research topics of 'Preliminary data suggests genetic distinctiveness of gyr and saker falcons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this