The Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus is a near threatened raptor that occurs in isolated populations across its range. The only comprehensive genetic study performed so far excluded samples from Turkey, although this area forms a significant part of the species' range. In this study, we used 311 bp long sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene from 58 Turkish individuals to assess genetic diversity and phylogeny, and to determine if any signals for population expansion exist. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate that the Turkish birds hold, along with those from the Caucasus, an intermediate position between European (Balkan and Iberian) and North Asian (Mongolian) lineages. Our findings also demonstrate extremely low mitochondrial diversity and suggest no population expansion. Despite the low genetic diversity found in this study, other mtDNA gene regions and other nuclear markers should be evaluated together with the current results, before any kind of conservation action plan of this species is applied.
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Vol. 107 • No. 1