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Possibly the Multaneously rallying conservation groups ( 04/northwest-forest-plan-20-years-battles-obama/). Probably the simplest but most important molecular analyses necessary for conservation with the Northern Spotted Owl was to define its taxonomic status (Fig. 3). There had been millions of dollars of timber, jobs, as well as other resources riding on figuring out the limits of its variety. Thus, it was crucial to identify if there were 1? species or subspecies to be viewed as for protection beneath the U.S. Endangered Species Act. In two studies (B) making use of 3 markers (mtDNA, microsatellites, and RAPDs), we found agreement for three subspecies: Northern (S. o. caurina), California (S. o. occidentalis), and Mexican (S. o. lucida) with proof for subspecies hybridization where taxa met geographically (Haig et al. 2001, 2004a,b). The challenge of intraspecific Northern-California Spotted Owl hybrids complex conservation action plans mainly because the ESA only addresses problems for hybrids in captive scenarios (O'Brien and Mayr 1991). This became a larger concern when we located evidence that Northern Spotted Owls have been hybridizing with Barred Owls (Strix varia) that were immediately expanding their range into the Pacific Northwest. Not understanding how in depth this hybridization could be, we developed mtDNA, microsatellite, and AFLP markers to differentiate these taxa for use by law enforcement laboratories (Haig et al. 2004a,b; Funk et al. 2006, 2008a). Even following the markers were developed, there was title= fpsyg.2014.00726 a legal conundrum as to ways to take care of a bird that looked like an ESA-protected Northern Spotted Owl but genetically was a Barred Owl/Northern Spotted Owl hybrid. A little-used clause within the ESA (section 4(e)) provided a potential remedy (Haig and Allendorf 2006). This `similarity of appearance' clause supplies protection for species which can be not listed but closely resemble an ESA-listed species. Understanding the genetic status of Northern Spotted Owls was the next vital step. We started by taking a landscape genetics strategy (Manel and Holdregger 2013) whereby we could examine the relationship amongst a random distribution Figure three (A) Northern Spotted Owl female and two older chicks of genes with a random distribution of geographic points (photo by Sheila Whitmore), (B) Distribution of sample web sites inside the across the array of the Northern Spotted Owl (Funk et al. range of the Northern Spotted Owl (from Funk et al. 2010) (Box three). 2008b). We did not obtain substantial breaks in gene flow but we did obtain restrictions in gene flow in functions including the Cascade and Coast Range mountains at the same time as dry river valleys (Fig. 3). A closer investigation into restricted gene flow indicated that Northern Spotted Owls overall had probably undergone a significant recent population bottleneck (Funk et al. 2010). The results were precisely the same when analyses have been broken down by region (e.g., Cascade Mountains, Olympic peninsula, and so on.) and neighborhood populations. The bottleneck signature was strongest for owls in the Washington Cascades, an region known to become experiencing a significant population decline (Forsman et al. 2011). Actually, when we compared our bottleneck results title= jir.2014.0026 for regional populations with population development rates for the 14 demographic study areas monitored more than the past 20+ years, there was a robust correlation amongst a considerable population bottleneck and important decline in lambda (population growth rate) (Funk et al.

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