USE OF PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSIS TO IDENTIFY EVOLUTIONARILY SIGNIFICANT UNITS FOR THE ORANGE-FRONTED PARAKEET (EUPSITTULA CANICULARIS) IN MEXICO

Gabriela Padilla-Jacobo, Tiberio Cesar Monterrubio-Rico, Horacio Cano Camacho, María Guadalupe Zavala-Páramo

Abstract


In avian conservation biology, the subspecies concept based on reciprocal monophyly has been successfully applied to define priority populations through Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs). In México, the Orange-fronted Parakeet (Eupsittula canicularis) ranks first in illegal parrot trade. Its distribution ranges from southern Sonora to Chiapas on the Pacific slope, with populations representing three subspecies: E. c. canicularis, E. c. eburnirostrum, and E. c. clarae. To identify and propose ESUs to assist in conservation proposals for different populations, we assessed subspecific reciprocal monophyly via phylogenetic analyses and haplotype networks based on the mitochondrial DNA genes cytochrome oxidase I y NADH dehydrogenase 2. Feather and blood samples from specimens collected from nests in 2005 and 2007 were used. A total of five specimens of E. c. eburnirostrum from two localities in the state of Michoacán and four specimens of E. c. clarae from the state of Sinaloa were analyzed and no specimens of E. c. canicularis were included. The analyses included sequences obtained by us and those previously reported for E. aurea, E. cactorum, E. canicularis, E. nana, and E. pertinax. Both the phylogenetic analyses and haplotype networks suggest two groups that correspond to two subspecies of E. canicularis based on morphological and geographical evidence. Therefore these two subspecies are proposed as independent ESUs for conservation purposes.


Keywords


Conservation; Eupsittula canicularis; Evolutionarily Significant Units; molecular phylogeny; Orange-fronted Parakeet; Psittacidae; reciprocal monophyly

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