Further note on Rockhopper systematics

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Further note on Rockhopper systematics
From: richard baxter <>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 13:42:14 -0800 (PST)
Further from Tony:

Tony Pym <> wrote:
Further to my earlier note, a paper by Banks et al published last year
in Polar Biology say the Rockhopper Penguin should be split as three

The title of the article is 'Genetic evidence for three species of
rockhopper penguins, Eudyptes chrysocome'

For information, below is an extract:

The taxonomy of rockhopper penguins, Eudyptes chrysocome (Forster
1781), is contentious. Some authorities recognise three subspecies
based on morphological differences and geographical separation of
breeding populations while others suggest that morphological
differences support classifying rockhopper penguins as two distinct
species. The taxonomy of rockhopper penguins is of more than academic
interest as breeding colonies worldwide have declined markedly in size
since the 1930s and rockhopper penguins are currently listed as
vulnerable by the IUCN. We compared the genetic distances between
three mitochondrial gene regions from the three putative rockhopper
penguin subspecies with the distances between various penguin sister
species to clarify the taxonomy and systematics of rockhopper
penguins. Genetic distances between the rockhopper penguin taxa,
relative to other closely related penguin species, support
reclassifying the three rockhopper penguin subspecies as species.
Reclassification of rockhopper penguins as three species could result
in their conservation status being upgraded from vulnerable to

The fish are biting.
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