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13 February 2019 Red Junglefowl Introductions in the Southeastern United States: History and Research Legacy
Tomas Condon, I. Lehr Brisbin, C. Ray Chandler
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As part of the US government's Foreign Game Investigation Program (FGIP), there was an extensive and sustained effort in the 1960s to introduce Gallus gallus (Red Junglefowl) in the southeastern United States. We review the history of this effort with the objective of showing how well-documented introductions such as those carried out by FGIP can shed light on current research questions. The stock for the junglefowl introductions was captured in northern India under the direction of Gardiner Bump in areas thought to be free of hybridization with domestic Gallus gallus domesticus (Chicken). A total of 117 wild-caught birds was shipped to the United States as breeding stock, and over a 10-year period nearly 10,000 Red Junglefowl were introduced into at least 52 sites in 8 states. Despite this massive effort, no wild populations of Red Junglefowl have persisted in the Southeast. However, descendants of the FGIP junglefowl still exist in captivity. Careful breeding of birds from the original FGIP has resulted in a captive population of 100–200 Red Junglefowl distributed among several aviculturists in the Southeast and thought to be derived from populations that predate introgression with domestic Chickens. Because of their well-documented origins, these descendants of FGIP junglefowl are probably the genetically purest captive population of this species, and they have a tremendous research legacy for the conservation of Red Junglefowl and study of the genetic changes associated with domestication.

Tomas Condon, I. Lehr Brisbin, and C. Ray Chandler "Red Junglefowl Introductions in the Southeastern United States: History and Research Legacy," Southeastern Naturalist 18(1), 37-52, (13 February 2019).
Published: 13 February 2019

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