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Microsatellite markers for two stifftail ducks: the white-headed duck, Oxyura leucocephala, and the ruddy duck, O. jamaicensis


Violeta Muñoz-Fuentes, Fax: +34 954 62 11 25; E-mail:


Hybridization with a close relative, the North American ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), is a major problem for the conservation of the endangered white-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala). We report the development of 11 microsatellite markers that can facilitate the identification of hybrids as well as the study of the population structure of both species across their distributions. These markers were tested in 63 white-headed ducks and 50 ruddy ducks and show a larger diversity in the latter species.