In 1974 R. de Naurois and F. Roux proposed that the distinct morphology of Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia breeding on offshore islands in the Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, in comparison with the sympatrically wintering northwest European breeding Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia leucorodia, justifies recognition as a separate subspecies Platalea leucorodia balsaci. This proposal is examined here on the basis of variation in nuclear DNA, microsatellites identified earlier for P. minor and P ajaja. We show that there is significant variation between Spoonbills breeding in Mauritania (n = 25) and the sympatrically wintering conspecifics breeding in the Dutch Wadden Sea (n = 105). Of the total genetic variation among the 130 individuals, 6.3% is attributable to variation between the two breeding areas (93.7% of the variation is within breeding areas). Pairwise FST values showed low genetic differentiation (FST'S < 0.012) among breeding colonies within The Netherlands. The level of genetic differentiation indicates that the level of gene flow between The Netherlands and Mauritania is much lower (∼4–5 individuals/generation) than among the Dutch colonies on separate Wadden Sea islands. Field observations on individually colour-marked birds from The Netherlands indeed suggest extensive dispersal within northwest Europe, with some introgression of leucorodia genes into the balsaci population. The level of microsatellite distinctiveness between sympatric populations of the two subspecies is similar to that recorded for subspecies of other migrant birds, and as such justifies the subspecies status of the Mauritanian Spoonbill.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.