Species Identification of Vagrant Empidonax Flycatchers in Northeastern North America Via Non-Invasive DNA Sequencing
Vagrant individuals from cryptic species complexes pose a persistent challenge for accurate species identification, hindering our understanding of vagrancy in these taxa. Here, we used non-invasive sampling of fecal matter to sequence the ND2 mitochondrial gene of 2 vagrant western flycatchers observed in northeastern North America. The DNAsequence data we recovered from these vagrants fell within a clade of known Empidonax difficillis (Pacific-slope Flycatcher) haplotypes. Our work provides robust records of 2 vagrant Pacific-slope Flycatchers in the northeastern US. These findings illustrate the power of non-invasive sampling for species identification of vagrants from cryptic species complexes.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Goldberg, N., & Mason, N. (2017). Species Identification of Vagrant Empidonax Flycatchers in Northeastern North America Via Non-Invasive DNA Sequencing. Northeastern Naturalist, 24 (4), 499-504. https://doi.org/10.1656/045.024.0408