Remaining genetic diversity in Brazilian Merganser (Mergus octosetaceus)
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- Vilaça, S.T., Redondo, R.A.F., Lins, L.V. et al. Conserv Genet (2012) 13: 293. doi:10.1007/s10592-011-0262-5
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The Brazilian Merganser is a very rare and threatened species that nowadays inhabits only a few protected areas and their surroundings in the Brazilian territory. In order to estimate the remaining genetic diversity and population structure in this species, two mitochondrial genes were sequenced in 39 individuals belonging to two populations and in one individual collected in Argentina in 1950. We found a highly significant divergence between two major remaining populations of Mergus octosetaceus, which suggests a historical population structure in this species. Furthermore, two deeply divergent lineages were found in a single location, which could due to current or historical secondary contact. Based on the available genetic data, we point out future directions which would contribute to design strategies for conservation and management of this threatened species.