Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Endangered raptor-- already flown?

Via discovery channel, the population of historical Cape Verde kites is not related to the group of kites, considered to be endangered, which live there now. Mitochondrial DNA sequences retrieved from museum specimens show that the original Cape Verde kites belonged to the red kite family, and the current inhabitants give mitochondrial DNA characteristic of black kites (common in Africa and Asia). This implies that the island's inhabitants were displaced at some point in the last 100 years by a maternal lineage related to African birds. This may knock the current birds a bit down the priority list for conservation efforts.

The link (Royal society of london) is here.

No comments: