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Social and genetic mating system of Ridgway's hawk (Buteo ridgwayi), an endemic raptor on Hispaniola

  • Lance G. Woolaver (a1), Rina K. Nichols (a2), Eugene S. Morton (a1) and Bridget J. M. Stutchbury (a1)

Abstract:

Patterns of social organization and mating systems have been shown to be functions of ecological factors such as resource allocation and breeding density. In some species, particularly birds, social organization and genetic mating systems differ with molecular studies providing evidence of extra-pair young frequently occurring within broods of socially monogamous species. Here we examine the social and genetic mating system of an ecologically little-known forest raptor endemic to the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. From 2005–2009, our field observations of over 60 breeding pairs verified a social mating system of monogamy for the species. During the same time period, we collected blood samples (n = 146 birds, 48 nests) and used microsatellite profiles from 10 loci to estimate genetic relatedness among nestlings in a brood and assign putative fathers. We found no evidence of extra-pair paternity in 41 broods. We had one instance where a social male was not assigned as the putative father, however, the confidence level of this assignment was not significant since the genotypes of the social and assigned males were very similar. Our results support our hypothesis that genetic monogamy would be exhibited by Ridgway's hawk, an island-endemic tropical raptor.

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Corresponding author

1Corresponding author. Present address: Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, BP 8511, 101 Antananarivo, Madagascar. Email: lancewoolaver@hotmail.com

References

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Keywords

Social and genetic mating system of Ridgway's hawk (Buteo ridgwayi), an endemic raptor on Hispaniola

  • Lance G. Woolaver (a1), Rina K. Nichols (a2), Eugene S. Morton (a1) and Bridget J. M. Stutchbury (a1)

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