Local genetic structure was studied in lekking white-bearded manakins in a study area on northern Trinidad, West Indies. The study population consisted of nine leks, at which a total of 238 birds were caught. By genotyping the individuals at eight polymorphic microsatellite loci we inferred some males on leks to be related (r = 0.25) as we found an average number of 14.8 half-sib relationships and two full-sib relationships per lek. We found that the sampled birds belonged to one genetic population that was slightly inbred (FIS and FIT = 0.02). Kinship coefficients decreased with increasing geographical distance, indicating that related birds displayed at the same or nearby leks. However, leks did not consist of only one family group because the average genetic distance (aij) between males within leks was higher than when comparing males on leks within close proximity. These patterns suggest limited male dispersal, that some type of kin recognition process between individuals may exist in this species and that males on leks may be more likely to establish themselves as territory-holding birds if a relative is already present.
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