a group of archipelagos (Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde) in the
Atlantic Ocean, is one of the global biodiversity hot-spots. However, for
species that occur throughout these archipelagos the extent of genetic and
morphological differentiation between the archipelagos and mainland Iberia and
Africa is often unknown. Here we investigate phenotypic and genetic
differentiation of Kentish Plovers Charadrius
alexandrinus, the most common breeding shorebird of Macaronesia. We show
strong genetic and moderate morphological differences among breeding
populations. Our results suggest that although these populations are far from
being a species-level endemism, they deserve conservation attention given their
uniqueness in terms of genetic variation. Recent loss in suitable breeding
sites in Canary Islands and Azores put substantial pressure on the extant
plover populations. Further studies of the conservation status and threat to
these populations are needed along with a comprehensive conservation action
plan to halt population decline and facilitate recovery.
We use own and third party cookies for the proper operation of the Website, carrying out analytical metrics, showing multimedia content and advertising, and interacting with social networks. More information in our Cookies Policy.