A window to population genetic differentiation and phylogeography of neglected and understudied intra-African migratory landbirds in sub-Saharan Africa

Project: Research

Project Details


The purpose of this project was to improve the current knowledge base of intra-African migratory landbirds and to determine if inter-African migratory landbirds migrate from South Africa and back again. The focal bird species in our study are all listed as least concern and they can be considered as underutilised species. We have chosen nine target species for our comparisons because they are abundant, are easy to catch and because they migrate across Africa, occurring in both Ghana and South Africa. These species cover a large range, yet little is known about whether the populations are connected or isolated. Even though these species are migratory, it is necessary to determine whether individuals are moving right across the sub-Saharan African range. This will inform decisions regarding the study of migration routes and the assessment of threats at sites along these routes. The use of genetic protocols to determine gene flow between populations and hence migration of individuals between these populations requires less time and effort than conventional ringing programmes and this approach involves less financial cost and less risk of stress to the animal than satellite tracking. This approach is however not to replace more traditional methods, rather to complement them, the genetic approach will provide rapid and precise information about the movement or genetic connectivity between populations, which provides the platform for longer term studies into migratory routes and movement patterns.
Effective start/end date1/04/151/09/23


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