An evaluation of of common loon (Gavia immer) demography, migration patternsand genetic structure using nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA evidence.

Loon (Gavia immer) Science Article 2

abstract

The proposed project uses genetic markers from nuclear and mitochondrial genomes to assess genetic structure, migration patterns and population dynamics in common loons (Gaviaimmer). Observations of loons on breeding grounds indicate that 1) mated pairs are highly philopatric, 2) effects of environmental contamination and habitat degradation can impair loon reproductive output, and 3) survival on migration and wintering grounds is reduced compared to survival while breeding. Despite observational studies and intensive banding efforts, links between different breeding populations, and between breeding populations and their respective migration routes and wintering grounds are still inadequately understood. Initiatives in loon conservation are compromised by this gap in knowledge and the use of common loons as indicator species (as is common in some National Forests) is consequently limited.

Alec R. Lindsay, Lindsay, Alec R. page 2 of 10

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