Magellanic penguins, now designated as “Near Threatened”

The latest Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) records the Magellanic penguin as ‘Near Threatened’ from the point of view of conservation.

Spheniscus magellanicus, commonly called Magellanic penguin or Patagonian penguin is a bird species of the family of penguins (Spheniscidae), which nests in the Falkland Islands and on the coasts and islands of Chilean Patagonia and Argentina (Strait of Magellan) , migrating north in the winter, reaching the waters of Uruguay and southeastern Brazil.

However, a group of U.S. scientists studied variations in their mating habits, eating and socializing, and its impact as the genetic diversity among populations of these birds in the Southern Cone.

To measure the amount of genetic diversity in birds, investigators try to determine the factors for the species from exposure to diseases and mate choice, to perish traits are hereditary.

According to the team’s report, published in the Journal of Heredity, we determined that there is genetic variation in this species as they migrate.

“By observing the genotypes of 50 breeding pairs of Magellanic penguins, we found significant levels of genetic variation, the detection of a significantly higher number of variants reported for Galapagos penguins and Humboldt penguins,” said one of the researchers, Gabrielle Knafler, a graduate student at Bowling Green University.

The report indicated that variations in the reproductive habits and socialization in the Magellanic penguins found in southern Patagonia, are significantly different compared with Galapagos penguins and Humboldt penguins.

This important study demonstrates that certain individuals of the species are better suited to combat a wide range of diseases and therefore are more likely to survive.

Gustavo Carrasquel |ANCA 24

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Environmental, Ecologists and Conservationist news from the Americas
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