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Microsatellite Dataset for: Weaving et al. Conservation genetics of regionally extinct peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) and unassisted recovery without genetic bottleneck in southern England

Citation

Vega, Rodrigo et al. (2021), Microsatellite Dataset for: Weaving et al. Conservation genetics of regionally extinct peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) and unassisted recovery without genetic bottleneck in southern England, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.mgqnk98wj

Abstract

The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) has been affected by persecution, pollution, trade, and habitat degradation, but it is considered a flagship conservation success story because of successful reintroductions and population recoveries across broad ranges. However, in the UK there were never formal reintroduction programmes for peregrine falcons, and it appears that UK populations—and specifically the Sussex peregrines of the English south coast—recently recovered from a population crash unassisted. To study this, we obtained samples from contemporary populations in southern England, Ireland, continental Europe, domestic-bred peregrine falcons, and from England pre-population crash. Using microsatellite and mtDNA control region data, the genetic diversity and structure, signatures of genetic bottlenecks, and potential origin of the Sussex peregrines was investigated. We found low levels of genetic diversity across all peregrine falcon groups, low but significant genetic differentiation, and a few private alleles, indicating some level of genetic structure among European peregrines. Although we could not pinpoint the origin of the Sussex peregrines, the data suggests that it is not likely to have originated from escaped domestic birds or from adjacent European populations. The results obtained here parallel other studies on peregrines elsewhere showing low genetic diversity but genetic structure. We conclude that not enough time elapsed for genetic erosion to occur due to the population bottleneck, and that at least for the Sussex peregrines there is no need for genetic conservation by wild-take and subsequent captive breeding programmes as long as current protection measures remain in place.

Methods

We used a suite of ten polymorphic microsatellite markers developed for peregrine falcons (NVHfp5, NVHfp13, NVHfp31, NVHfp46-1, NVHfp54, NVHfp79-4, NVHfp82-2, NVHfp86-2, NVHfp89, NVHfp92-1; Nesje et al. 2000). Alleles were scored on GeneMapper version 3.7 (Applied Biosystems). Approximately 25% of contemporary samples were amplified twice at all 10 loci to determine genotyping error (Hoffman and Amos 2005; Pompanon et al. 2005), and 37.5% of museum samples were genotyped twice to confirm accurate scoring of alleles and to allow identification of potential errors due to allelic dropout of larger alleles. Owing to degradation and yield associated with historical DNA (Wandeler 2007), two microsatellite markers, NVHfp5 and NHVfp92-1, failed to amplify across all museum samples. Genotype error (mismatch alleles) was found for microsatellite marker NHVfp82-2 across all DNA samples and was subsequently removed from analysis. The resulting dataset comprised seven microsatellite markers and 149 individuals.

Usage Notes

The microsatellite dataset is presented in STRUCTURE format (two lines per individual) (look for the text file "Weaving et al Microsatellite dataset Peregrine falcons STRUCTURE.txt"). Missing data shown as -9. There are 149 individuals (peregrine falcons) (first column shows the names), arranged into 6 groups (second column). The name of the group is shown as part of the name (e.g. UK-post_PF1 = peregrine falcon#1 belonging to the group UK-post in the manuscript). There are 7 microsatellite loci.

You can open this file in STRUCTURE or convert it to other formats.