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PIGEONS - Endemic pigeons of São Tomé: developing science-based conservation and sustainable use of African forest pigeons

PIGEONS - Endemic pigeons of São Tomé: developing science-based conservation and sustainable use of African forest pigeons

The two main objectives of this project are: i) to obtain the information required to manage the endemic pigeons of São Tomé, ensuring not only the long term use of this important resource, but also the maintenance of their ecological role; and ii) to test and improve the performance of sustainability indices for exploited populations.
The conservation significance of any given population is often linked to its degree of genetic differentiation, used as a proxy for the degree of evolutionary independence. Pigeons are good flyers and therefore one of the most successful groups in island colonisation. This capacity to readily colonise islands may impair differentiation if gene flow between different populations persists after colonisation. Although Columba thomensis and Treron sanctithomae are currently considered single-island endemics and C. malherbii an endemic shared with Príncipe and Annobón islands, some authors still favour their treatment as insular populations of mainland species.

I am responsible for the conservation genetics task of this project. I will use molecular marker: (a) to clarify the taxonomy of the three pigeons by inferring the history of the insular populations (phylogenetic position, colonisation route and dates, genetic differentiation), and (b) to estimate past events of population expansion or contraction and the effective population size.

Team
Principal Investigator
Martim Melo

Martim Melo

Position: Post-Doc Researcher
Groups:
SOCIALITY, TROPBIO
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Other members
Jorge Manuel Mestre Marques Palmeirim (PI), Mariana Bastos Carvalho, Ricardo Faustino de Lima, Christoph Friedrich Johannes Meyer, Ana Filipa Neves Costa
State
Concluded
Proponent Institution
Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (FFC/FC/UL)
Funded by
FCT
Dates
2011 (Duration: 2 years)
Participant Institutions
Centro de Biologia Ambiental (CBA/FC/UL), Instituto de Ciências e Tecnologias Agrárias e Agro-Alimentares - Porto (ICETA-Porto/UP), Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA/UTL), Lancaster University - The Lancaster Environment Center (LEC)
Reference
PTDC/BIA-BIC/115223/2009
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