Journal für Ornithologie

, Volume 144, Issue 1, pp 86–92 | Cite as

Mate fidelity in a population of Island Canaries (Serinus canaria) in the Madeiran Archipelago

  • Cornelia Voigt
  • Stefan Leitner
  • Manfred Gahr
Article

Summary

Previous studies have shown that extra-pair paternity occurs less frequently in island populations than in mainland populations. This is thought to be due mainly to the low genetic variability in island populations but non-genetic factors have also been discussed. Here we report the results of a parentage analysis in a population of island canaries (Serinus canaria) on a small uninhabited island in the Madeiran archipelago. Island canaries are socially monogamous, non-migratory seasonal breeders where biparental care is essential for offspring survival. Multilocus DNA-fingerprinting provided no evidence of extra-pair-paternity in 15 families comprising 45 juveniles. The band sharing coefficient for presumably unrelated breeding pairs was low (0.17 ± 0.03), an indication that genetic variability within the population is similar to most non-island populations of other species. Females did not seek extra-pair copulations and actively rejected sexual approaches from males other than their mate. We propose that female island canaries assess the quality of males during a perid outside the breeding season and optimise their mate choice according to learned preferences.

Keywords

songbird Serinus canaria island population genetic monogamy DNA fingerprinting 

Partnertreue bei einer Population von Kanarengirlitzen (Serinus canaria) im Madeira-Archipel

Zusammenfassung

Vorangegangene Untersuchungen haben gezeigt, dass Vaterschaften außerhalb des Paarbundes bei Inselpopulationen weniger häufig vorkommen als bei Festlandpopulationen. Dieses Phänomen wird hauptsächlich mit der bei Inselpopulationen auftretenden geringeren genetischen Variabilität begründet, aber auch nicht-genetische Faktoren werden diskutiert. Wir stellen in der vorliegenden Studie die Ergebnisse einer Vaterschaftsanalyse in einer Kanarengirlitz-Population auf einer kleinen, unbewohnten Insel im Madeira-Archipel vor. Kanarengirlitze sind sozial monogame Standvögel, die saisonal brüten. Die Brutpflege beider Eltern ist entscheidend für das überleben der Jungvögel. Multilocus-DNA-Fingerprinting ergab keinen Fall von Vaterschaften außerhalb des Paarbundes in 15 untersuchten Familien mit insgesamt 45 Jungvögeln. Der Anteil gemeinsamer Banden zwischen den unverwandten Elterntieren war niedrig (0.17 ± 0.03, Mittelwert ± s. d.), was darauf hindeutet, dass die genetische Variabilität dieser Population ähnlich der von Festlandpopulationen anderer Arten ist. Es konnte kein Fall beobachtet werden, in dem Weibchen Kopulationen mit fremden Männchen zu erlangen versuchten. Vielmehr verweigerten sie aktiv Kopulationsversuche fremder Männchen. Wir schlagen vor, dass die Kanarengirlitz-Weibchen die Zeit außerhalb der Brutzeit nutzen, um die Qualität der Männchen festzustellen und anhand gelernter Präferenzen ihre Partnerwahl optimieren.

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Copyright information

© Deutsche Ornithologen-Gesellschaft/Blackwell Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cornelia Voigt
    • 1
  • Stefan Leitner
    • 1
  • Manfred Gahr
    • 2
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für VerhaltensphysiologieSeewiesenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Developmental Neurobiology, Faculty of BiologyVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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