Population differentiation and hybridisation of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins in North-Western Australia

Alexander M. Brown*, Anna M. Kopps, Simon J. Allen, Lars Bejder, Bethan Littleford-Colquhoun, Guido J. Parra, Daniele Cagnazzi, Deborah Thiele, Carol Palmer, Celine H. Frere

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Abstract

    Little is known about the Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins ('snubfin' and 'humpback dolphins', hereafter) of north-western Australia. While both species are listed as 'near threatened' by the IUCN, data deficiencies are impeding rigorous assessment of their conservation status across Australia. Understanding the genetic structure of populations, including levels of gene flow among populations, is important for the assessment of conservation status and the effective management of a species. Using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers, we assessed population genetic diversity and differentiation between snubfin dolphins from Cygnet (n = 32) and Roebuck Bays (n = 25), and humpback dolphins from the Dampier Archipelago (n = 19) and the North West Cape (n = 18). All sampling locations were separated by geographic distances >200 km. For each species, we found significant genetic differentiation between sampling locations based on 12 (for snubfin dolphins) and 13 (for humpback dolphins) microsatellite loci (F-ST = 0.05-0.09; P

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere101427
    Number of pages14
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Volume9
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2-Jul-2014

    Keywords

    • BOTTLE-NOSED DOLPHINS
    • MULTILOCUS GENOTYPE DATA
    • GENETIC DIFFERENTIATION
    • MITOCHONDRIAL-DNA
    • TURSIOPS-TRUNCATUS
    • LINKAGE DISEQUILIBRIUM
    • MICROSATELLITE MARKERS
    • BALAENOPTERA-MUSCULUS
    • PHOCOENA-PHOCOENA
    • IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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