Zoological Studies

Vol. 60, 2021

(update: 2021.05.10)

Identifying A New Phylogeographic Population of the Blyth’s Tragopan (Tragopan blythii) through Multi-locus Analyses

Jingyi Zou1, Lu Dong2, Geoffrey Davison3, Win Hlaing4, Moe Myint Aung4, Yanyun Zhang2, Zhengwang Zhang2, Nan Wang1,*, and De Chen2,*


1School of Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083. *Correspondence: E-mail: wangnan8854100@qq.com (Wang)
E-mail: 8854100@qq.com (Zou)
2MOE Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875. *Correspondence: E-mail: chende@bnu.edu.cn (Chen)
E-mail: donglu@bnu.edu.cn (Dong); zhangyy@bnu.edu.cn (Y. Zhang); zzw@bnu.edu.cn (Z. Zhang)
3National Biodiversity Centre, Singapore, 259569. E-mail: davisongwh53@gmail.com (Davison)
4Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary, Homalin Town, Sagaing Region, Myanmar. E-mail: winhlaing1441@gmail.com (Hlaing); moemyintaung1653@gmail.com (Aung)

Received 20 August 2020 / Accepted 19 April 2021
Communicated by Chih-Ming Hung

Geographically and morphologically distinct populations within a species are frequently the focus of conservation efforts, especially when the populations are evolutionarily significant units. The Blyth’s Tragopan (Tragopan blythii) is a globally-threatened species confined to South and Southeast Asia. During our field surveys in western Myanmar, we discovered a distinct group of individuals that differed in their appearance relative to all other populations. We further examined the differences in their DNA sequence using three nuclear introns and three mitochondrial genes through phylogenetic analytical methods. Our results showed the population from Mount Kennedy, Chin Hills formed reciprocal monophyletic groups with the nominate subspecies from Mount Saramati, Sagaing Division. Species delimitation analyses further confirmed this differentiation. Geographical isolation by the intervening lowlands found between high elevation habitats may have been the main cause of their differentiation. Hence, we propose that the Mount Kennedy population be viewed as a distinct evolutionarily significant unit and be given special priority for conservation.

Key words: Bird conservation, Edge population, Evolutionary significant units, Galliformes, Tragopan blythii.

Citation: Zou J, Davison G, Hlaing W, Aung MM, Zhang Y, Zhang Z, Wang N, Chen D. 2021. Identifying a new phylogeographic population of the Blyth’s Tragopan (Tragopan blythii) through multi-locus analyses. Zool Stud 60:0ll. doi:-.

Supplementary Materials: Fig. S1 | Fig. S2 | Table S1 | Table S2 | Table S3