Waterfowl Research Study on Species Hybridization

Posted Wednesday May 31, 2017 by wf_admin

The genetics of Mottled and Florida ducks in the South Atlantic Coastal Zone are being studied with support from Wildlife Forever. Biologists from the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forest Resources are working with duck hunters to investigate the genetic variablility and level of gene flow within a population of Mottled ducks introduced to South Carolina in the mid-1970s. The researchers are seeking to detect hybridization between original and introduced duck populations and other differences between the introduced and natural populations using tissue from ducks harvested by hunters in South Carolina and Georgia. Understanding the genetic structure of introduced Mottled ducks will aid conservation efforts towards maintenance of pure Florida Mottled ducks, and help determine the broader impacts of species introduction on native populations.