Mycteria americana (Aves, Ciconiidae) is the only species of stork found in the Caribbean. It is a permanent yet rare resident in Cuba, with only two reproductively active colonies. In this work, we used five microsatellite loci to characterize 37 individuals from these colonies, located in two of the most important wetlands of Cuba, the Zapata Swamp and the Sabana–Camagüey Archipelago. We found low genetic variability, with similar values to those reported for North and South American populations of the species, and little but significant genetic differentiation between colonies. Our results highlight the need to improve the management and conservation planning of the species in Cuba because the combination of low genetic variation, small colonies, anthropogenic influence and climatic factors could threaten its persistence.
Genetic diversity, Genetic structure, Waterbirds, Wetlands
Reception date: 03 XI 17 | Acceptation date: 19 I 18 | Publication date: 02 VIII 18
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