A published study on the White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus) (Ng et al., 2017) showed that the main island of Singapore comprises largely of non-native individuals that could have been introduced by released or escaped captive individuals from the bird trade. Individuals from the north-eastern satellite islands (Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong) were shown to be genetically native. Although the population on the main island of Singapore was found to comprise largely escaped individuals originating elsewhere in the species’ range, we do not consider the conservation implications of this situation to be adverse. Shamas from the region are extremely closely related genomically, and historically most differentiation should have been clinal with high levels of gene flow and a lack of genetic subdivision. This study demonstrated that genomic techniques can be applied to determine the origins of introduced individuals amongst native populations. We further confirmed that the population on Sarawak (suavis) is genomically distinct.
People: Elize Ng, Kritika Garg, Gabriel Low, Balaji Chattopadhyay, Rachel Oh, Jessica Lee, Frank E. Rheindt
Funded by: Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund, National Parks Board (Singapore), Ministry of Education (Singapore), and SEABIG
Contact: Elize Ng: elizeng [at] u.nus.edu; Frank Rheindt: dbsrfe [at] nus.edu.sg