Assessment of genetic variation and evolutionary history of Caucasian Grouse (Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi).
Maryam Mostajeran, Mansoureh Malekian, Sima Fakheran, Marine Murtskhvaladze, Davoud Fadakar, Nader Habibzadeh
Caucasian Grouse (Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi) is an endemic species found in the Caucasus whose population is declining. Initial assessment of genetic variation and phylogenetic status of the species confirmed the monophyly ofL. mlokosiewiczias and indicated a sister relationship between L. mlokosiewicziand L. tetrix (Black grouse). Further the Caucasian grouse from Georgia, Caucasus and Iran created three genetic groups with no shared haplotype. This separation could be the result of different evolutionary events or geographic distances between them. Four different haplotypes were identified in north-western Iran, distributed inside and outside Arasbaran protected area (APA), suggesting the expansion of APA to include Caucasian grouse habitats in the Kalibar Mountains (western APA) and enhance the protection of the species in the region.