Genetic evidence supports three previously described species of greater glider, Petauroides volans, P. minor, and P. armillatus

McGregor, Denise C., Padovan, Amanda, Georges, Arthur, Krockenberger, Andrew, Yoon, Hwan-Jin, and Youngentob, Kara N. (2020) Genetic evidence supports three previously described species of greater glider, Petauroides volans, P. minor, and P. armillatus. Scientific Reports, 10. 19284.

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Abstract

The identification and classification of species are essential for effective conservation management. This year, Australia experienced a bushfire season of unprecedented severity, resulting in widespread habitat loss and mortality. As a result, there has been an increased focus on understanding genetic diversity and structure across the range of individual species to protect resilience in the face of climate change. The greater glider (Petauroides volans) is a large, gliding eucalypt folivore. This nocturnal arboreal marsupial has a wide distribution across eastern Australia and is considered the sole extant member of the genus Petauroides. Differences in morphology have led to suggestions that the one accepted species is actually three. This would have substantial impacts on conservation management, particularly given a recent history of declining populations, coupled with extensive wildfires. Until now, genetic evidence to support multiple species has been lacking. For the first time, we used DArT sequencing on greater glider tissue samples from multiple regions and found evidence of three operational taxonomic units (OTUs) representing northern, central and southern groups. The three OTUs were also supported by our morphological data. These findings have important implications for greater glider management and highlight the role of genetics in helping to assess conservation status.

Item ID: 66099
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. © The Author(s) 2020
Funders: Winifred Violet Scott Charitable Trust, Skyrail Rainforest Foundation (SRF), Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA), Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (HWRE), Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Queensland Scientific Purposes Permits (QSPP)
Projects and Grants: DELWP 10007842, QSPP WITK16408715, QSPP WISP16408815, QSPP WIF416492015, QSPP WITK18792718, QSPP WISP18803718, QSPP WIF418792618
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2020 07:33
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310999 Zoology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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