Sunday, October 17, 2021

Pedigree validation using genetic markers in an intensively- managed taonga species, the critically endangered kakī (Himantopus novaezelandiae)

TitlePedigree validation using genetic markers in an intensively- managed taonga species, the critically endangered kakī (Himantopus novaezelandiae)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsOverbeek, A, Galla, S, Brown, L, Cleland, S, Thyne, C, Maloney, R, Steeves, T
JournalNotornis
Volume67
Issue4
Pagination709-716
Type of ArticleFull article
Keywordsbirds, brood parasitism, conservation genetics, extra-pair parentage, microsatellites, pedigree
Abstract

 

Many species recovery programmes use pedigrees to understand the genetic ancestry of individuals to inform conservation management. However, incorrect parentage assignment may limit the accuracy of these pedigrees and subsequent management decisions. This is especially relevant for pedigrees that include wild individuals, where misassignment may not only be attributed to human error, but also promiscuity (i.e. extra-pair parentage) or egg-dumping (i.e. brood parasitism). Here, we evaluate pedigree accuracy in the socially monogamous and critically endangered kakī (black stilt, Himantopus novaezelandiae) using microsatellite allele-exclusion analyses for 56 wild family groups across three breeding seasons (2014–2016, n = 340). We identified 16 offspring where parentage was incorrectly assigned, representing 5.9% of all offspring. Of the 16 misassigned offspring, three can be attributed to non-kakī brood parasitism, one can be assigned to human error, but others cannot be readily distinguished between non-monogamous mating behaviours and human error. In the short term, we advise the continued use of microsatellites to identify misassigned offspring in the kakī pedigree, and to verify non-kakī brood parasitism. We also recommend the Department of Conservation’s Kakī Recovery Programme further evaluate the implications of pedigree error to the management of this critically endangered taonga species.

 

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