Reduced genetic diversity in Bearded Vultures Gypaetus barbatus in Southern Africa
Jansen van Vuuren, B.
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The Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus occurs throughout its range in small and dwindling population fragments with limited genetic differentiation between populations, suggesting that the species might be managed as a single entity. The numbers of East and Southern African Bearded Vultures included in previous studies were small, so we determine the genetic variation within, evolutionary placement of and connectivity among sub-Saharan African populations. Mitochondrial DNA fragment analyses detected little or no differentiation between populations in Ethiopia and Southern Africa, with reduced haplotype diversity in Southern Africa compared with populations in the Northern Hemisphere. The results inform conservation management of this species globally and locally, and offer guidelines for translocations should populations continue to decline.