Molecular sex-typing in shorebirds: a review of an essential method for research in evolution, ecology and conservation
109 – 118
1 August 10
Natalie Dos Remedios, Patricia L. M. Lee, Tamás Székely, Deborah A. Dawson, Clemens Küpper
Natalie Dos Remedios
Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, UK.
Knowing the correct sex of individuals is essential both for research in evolutionary ecology and for practical conservation. Recent molecular advances have produced cheap, quick and reliable methods for sexing birds including chicks, juveniles, immatures and adults. Shorebird researchers have not yet fully utilised these advances. Here we provide an overview of work in this area to date with two objectives: (i) to review the major applications of molecular sexing and findings of shorebird research so far, and (ii) to provide an essential guide on how to carry out molecular sexing using current methods whilst avoiding methodological pitfalls. We encourage shorebird researchers to make better use of molecular sex-typing techniques in studies of conservation, migration, foraging ecology and breeding behaviour.