[Ontbirds] Fort Erie Brown Booby subspecific identification

Jeff Skevington jhskevington at gmail.com
Thu Mar 6 23:07:25 EST 2014

Hi Ontbirders,

I thought it would be good to share the news. We have been able to
conclusively identify the Ontario Brown Booby as being from the
nominate subspecies (leucogaster) from the Caribbean. Marcy Jacklin
scraped together some droppings from where the bird was last seen and
sent them to me. Kevin Kerr suggested we try to sequence the control
region (see <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MtDNA_control_region> for
more information on this rapidly evolving, non-coding part of our
mitochondrial DNA). Scott Kelso was able to figure out how to isolate
the DNA from the dropping and today it all came together and we
finally got the data back. This analysis would not have been possible
if some folks had not done population genetic work on the species and
published their data (see the paper by Morris-Pocock et al
(Comparative phylogeography of brown (Sula leucogaster) and red-footed
boobies (S. sula): The influence of physical barriers and habitat
preference on gene flow in pelagic seabirds).

I have to do some more extensive analyses but the preliminary analyses
were conclusive so I do not expect any surprises. We will publish the
data in the near future.

It's really about time for another good southerly flow of air...


Jeff Skevington, Research Scientist
Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
960 Carling Avenue, K.W. Neatby Building
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0C6, Canada
Phone: 613-759-1647
FAX: 613-759-1927
E-mail: jhskevington at gmail.com

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