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Maybe the simplest but most important molecular analyses needed for conservation in the Northern Spotted Owl was to define its taxonomic status (Fig. three). There were millions of dollars of timber, jobs, and also other resources riding on figuring out the limits of its variety. Hence, it was crucial to establish if there have been 1? species or subspecies to become regarded as for protection beneath the U.S. Endangered Species Act. In two studies (B) utilizing three markers (mtDNA, microsatellites, and RAPDs), we discovered agreement for 3 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 problem of intraspecific Northern-California Spotted Owl hybrids complex conservation action plans for the reason that the ESA only addresses concerns for hybrids in captive situations (O'Brien and Mayr 1991). This became a bigger concern when we located evidence that Northern Spotted Owls had been hybridizing with Barred Owls (Strix varia) that had been swiftly expanding their range in to the Pacific Northwest. Not recognizing how comprehensive this hybridization might be, we created 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 soon after the markers have been developed, there was title= fpsyg.2014.00726 a legal conundrum as to tips on how to handle 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 inside the ESA (section four(e)) offered a prospective answer (Haig and Allendorf 2006). This `similarity of appearance' clause delivers protection for species which can be not listed but CUDC-907 site closely resemble an ESA-listed species. Understanding the genetic status of Northern Spotted Owls was the next important step. We started by taking a landscape genetics approach (Manel and Holdregger 2013) whereby we could examine the relationship involving a random distribution Figure 3 (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 sites inside the across the array of the Northern Spotted Owl (Funk et al. selection of the Northern Spotted Owl (from Funk et al. 2010) (Box 3). 2008b). We did not come across important breaks in gene flow but we did uncover restrictions in gene flow in options for example the Cascade and Coast Variety mountains as well as dry river valleys (Fig. 3). A closer investigation into restricted gene flow indicated that Northern Spotted Owls all round had probably undergone a significant recent population bottleneck (Funk et al. 2010). The outcomes have been the identical when analyses had been broken down by area (e.g., Cascade Mountains, Olympic peninsula, and so forth.) and regional populations. The bottleneck signature was strongest for owls in the Washington Cascades, an region recognized to become experiencing a important population decline (Forsman et al. 2011). In truth, when we compared our bottleneck outcomes title= jir.2014.0026 for neighborhood populations with population growth rates for the 14 demographic study regions monitored more than the past 20+ years, there was a strong correlation in between a substantial population bottleneck and significant decline in lambda (population growth rate) (Funk et al.

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