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A comparative approach for species delimitation based on multiple methods of multi-locus DNA sequence analysis: A case study of the genus Giraffa (Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla)

Molecular data are now commonly used in taxonomy for delimiting cryptic species. In the case of giraffes, which were treated as a single species (Giraffa camelopardalis) during half of a century, several molecular studies have suggested a splitting into four to seven species, but the criteria applied for taxonomic delimitation were not fully described. In this study, we have analysed all multi-locus DNA sequences available for giraffes using multispecies coalescent (MSC: *BEAST, BPP and STACEY), population genetic (STRUCTURE, allelic networks,

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Letter From Namibia

The modern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is the world’s tallest animal and its largest ruminant. It is also among the most quintessentially African of animals, being found throughout most of the continent—the great­est concentrations in eastern and southern Africa. Yet, since the dawn of the new millennium, a combination of habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, civil unrest, and rampant poaching has led to an alarming 40 percent de­cline in giraffe populations across Africa—from an estimated 140,000 individuals in 1999 to less than

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Regional Differences in Seasonal Timing of Rainfall Discriminate between Genetically Distinct East African Giraffe Taxa

Masai (Giraffa tippelskirchi), Reticulated (G. reticulata) and Rothschild’s (G. camelopardalis) giraffe lineages in East Africa are morphologically and genetically distinct, yet in Kenya their ranges abut. This raises the question of how divergence is maintained among populations of a large mammal capable of long-distance travel, and which readily hybridize in zoos. Here we test four hypotheses concerning the maintenance of the phylogeographic boundaries among the three taxa: 1) isolation-by-distance; 2) physical barriers to dispersal; 3) general habitat differences resulting in

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Supplement on the paper of: Extensive population genetic structure in the giraffe.

Brown et al. (pp. 63/64, if I counted correctly, – the page numbers on the PDF of the paper are “not for citation puposes”) suggest “that the giraffe might represent more than one species” and that their results and arguments “support viewing the giraffe as containing multiple distinct species rather than a single polymorphic form. Reciprocal monophyly in mtDNA sequences and nearly absolute partitioning in microsatellite data support minimally six species, corresponding to Giraffa peralta, G. rothschildii, G. reticulata, G.

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