Conservation Genetics

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 501–512

Population Genetic Structure and Conservation of the Lesser White-Fronted GooseAnser erythropus

  • Minna Ruokonen
  • Laura Kvist
  • Tomas Aarvak
  • Juha Markkola
  • Vladimir V. Morozov
  • Ingar J. Øien
  • Eugeny E. SyroechkovskyJr.
  • Petteri Tolvanen
  • Jaakko Lumme
Article

Abstract

The lesser white-fronted goose is a sub-Arctic species with a currently fragmented breeding range, which extends from Fennoscandia to easternmost Siberia. The population started to decline at the beginning of the last century and, with a current world population estimate of 25,000 individuals, it is the most threatened of the Palearctic goose species. Of these, only 30–50 pairs breed in Fennoscandia. A fragment of the control region of mtDNA was sequenced from 110 individuals from four breeding, one staging and two wintering areas to study geographic subdivisions and gene flow. Sequences defined 15 mtDNA haplotypes that were assigned to two mtDNA lineages. Both the mtDNA lineages were found from all sampled localities indicating a common ancestry and/or some level of gene flow. Analyses of molecular variance showed significant structuring among populations (φST 0.220, P < 0.001). The results presented here together with ecological data indicate that the lesser white-fronted goose is fragmented into three distinctive subpopulations, and thus, the conservation status of the species should be reconsidered.

Anser erythropus lesser white-fronted goose Palearctic management unit population genetic structure 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Minna Ruokonen
    • 1
  • Laura Kvist
    • 1
  • Tomas Aarvak
    • 2
  • Juha Markkola
    • 1
  • Vladimir V. Morozov
    • 3
  • Ingar J. Øien
    • 2
  • Eugeny E. SyroechkovskyJr.
    • 4
  • Petteri Tolvanen
    • 5
  • Jaakko Lumme
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Norwegian Ornithological SocietyTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Russian Research Institute for Nature ProtectionMoscowRussia
  4. 4.Institute of Ecology and EvolutionRussian Academy of ScienceMoscowRussia
  5. 5.WWF FinlandHelsinkiFinland

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