Thursday, March 10, 2016

South Australian Ground Parrot

South Australia no longer has Ground Parrots. At times, the South Australian birds have been considered closer to the Western Australian birds or perhaps part of a continuum across the continent. However the most recent study (Murphy et al. 2010) and the first using mitochondrial DNA analysis, places South Australian birds with the other Eastern States birds, and equally divergent from the Western Australian birds. It is likely that this separation of eastern and western populations occurred approximately 2 million years ago, probably caused by 'the onset of aridity in the median area'.

The actual specimen used in the genetic study was the specimen shown below which is held in the South Australian Museum. The photos were provided by the museum, and are used with permission.

Label: Swamp Parrot. snared with a loop snare  in the Reedy Field Reed beds S.A. by Tommy the Black Fellow in the lakes end of 1850 and preserved by Mr Wm White. 
to S.A. White (Different handwriting).

Reference: Murphy SA, Joseph L, Burbidge AH, Austin J (2010)A cryptic and critically endangered species revealed by mitochondrial DNA analyses: the Western Ground Parrot. Conservation Genetics. D01 10.1007/s10592-010-0161-1

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