Evaluation of the eastern (Centrocercus urophasianus urophasianus) and western (Centrocercus urophasianus phaios) subspecies of Sage-grouse using mitochondrial control-region sequence data
The status of Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is of increasing concern, as populations throughout its range have contracted as a result of habitat loss and degradation. Historically, Sage-grouse were classified into two subspecies: eastern(C. u. urophasianus) and western Sage-grouse (C. u. phaios) based on slight differences in coloration noted among eight individuals sampled from Washington, Oregon, and California. We sequenced a rapidly evolving portion of the mitochondrial control region in 332 birds from 16 populations. Although our sampling area covers the proposed boundary between the eastern and western subspecies, no genetic evidence to support the delineation of these subspecies was found. However, a population straddling southwestern Nevada and eastern California was found to contain an unusually high proportion of unique haplotypes, consistent with its genetic isolation from other Sage-grouse populations. Of additional interest was the lack of diversity in the two populations sampled from Washington, one of which contained only a single haplotype. We suggest that multiple lines of evidence are valuable for the formulation of conservation strategies and hence the southwestern Nevada/eastern California population merits further morphological, behavioral, and molecular investigation.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Evaluation of the eastern (Centrocercus urophasianus urophasianus) and western (Centrocercus urophasianus phaios) subspecies of Sage-grouse using mitochondrial control-region sequence data|
|Series title||Conservation Genetics|
|Contributing office(s)||Fort Collins Science Center|