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American White Pelican Genetics Research - Tissue Collection
Southwest Region, July 19, 2007
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Corpus Christi ES staff assisted Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) staff and Dr. Clay Green from Texas State University in collecting tissue samples from dead American white pelican chicks.  This tissue collection was solicited by Dr. Chris Somers, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to look at the genetic population structure and distribution of genetic diversity in the American white pelican across its range. Dr. Somers has samples from the west/northwest U.S., many from FWS refuges, where most of the white pelican breeding colonies are found.  The only breeding colony in Texas is a rookery island in the Upper Laguna Madre within PINS boundaries.  The Service, the National Park Service, and other bird and conservation organizations are interested in Dr. Somer’s results to help answer questions about mixing between the resident breeding population and the large numbers of migrant white pelicans on the lower Texas coast. 

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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