Determining the sex of a monomorphic threatened, endemic passerine in the sky islands of southern India using molecular and morphometric methods

Robin, VV and Sinha, Anindya and Ramakrishnan, U (2011) Determining the sex of a monomorphic threatened, endemic passerine in the sky islands of southern India using molecular and morphometric methods. Current Science, 101 (5). pp. 676-679.

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    Abstract: Identifying the sex of an individual is often a basic requirement for many biological studies. This is often critically important for threatened or endangered species that may require different conservation strategies for the two sexes. In many passerine birds, like the threatened, endemic White-bellied Shortwing, Brachypteryx albiventris, found only in the Shola forests of the Western Ghats, however, the sexes are often monomorphic and indistinguishable in the field. There has been some conflicting information in the historic incidental records on how the sexes can be identified in this species. We conducted molecular sexing to determine the sexual identity of 99 individuals captured in the field and examined the possibility of using some key morphological and morphometric variables to predict the sex of these individuals. Of all the variables tested, the sexes could be distinguished only by the relatively greater wing and tarsus length of the males. We then examined the sexual identity of 149 individuals that were captured over four years of fieldwork during a long-term study of this species. This study thus provides important baseline data for an ongoing exploration of the ecology and demography of the two sexes of this unique threatened bird.
    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Copyright belongs to Publisher
    Keywords: Molecular sexing, monomorphic and threatened species, morphometric variables, Shola forest
    Subjects: School of Natural and Engineering Sciences > Conservation Biology
    Programmes > Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation
    Divisions: Schools > Natural Sciences and Engineering
    Depositing User: K Rajesh
    Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2016 08:56
    Last Modified: 05 Jan 2016 08:56
    URI: http://eprints.nias.res.in/id/eprint/912

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