The grey-faced buzzard (Butastur indicus) is a raptor that inhabits East Asia, including Japan. Because the number of individuals has decreased by 75% over the last 40 years, this species is classified as vulnerable (VU) in Japan. In the present study, wesought to reveal the genetic structure of the Japanese grey-faced buzzard population at several breeding sites, and to assess the levels of genetic diversity within the Japanese population. We sequenced 555 bp of the mitochondrial DNA of 96 individuals sampled during the breeding season at 18 sites, and 11 individuals sampled during the winter season at one site. In total, 21 variable sites were found in the control region, and we detected 26 haplotypes among the 107 individuals. Fukuoka represented the core breeding area for grey-faced buzzards, as half of all haplotypes were detected there. Four unique haplotypes were detected in the overwintering area. The results of the network and mismatch distribution analyses indicated that the grey-faced buzzard has not experienced a genetic bottleneck in the past, but did experience recent population expansion. In addition, comparisons with other raptors revealed rich genetic diversity in the grey-faced buzzard population. Our results indicate that conservation of both breeding and wintering areas is important for the protection of the grey-faced buzzard.
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Vol. 36 • No. 1