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1 March 2007 Predicting the Sex of Dovekies by Discriminant Analysis
Dariusz Jakubas, Katarzyna Wojczulanis
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We examined sexual dimorphism of Dovekie (Alle alle) from the breeding colony in Hornsund (south Spitsbergen). Each bird was sexed using DNA extracted from blood. Body morphometrics including flattened wing, head-bill, tarsus length, bill width and body mass were recorded in 331 birds caught during the breeding season in 2003-2006. Analysis of measurements of mated pairs showed that males are usually bigger than females in case of head-bill length, bill width and body mass. Only head-bill length was significantly correlated within a pair (r69 = 0.354, P < 0.005). A forward stepwise discriminant function analysis (DFA) was used to evaluate sexual size dimorphism in Dovekie. The first function, applied to 4 measurements, identified head-bill length and bill width as the best measurements for sexing and correctly classified 70% of our sample (but only 38% better than chance). The second function, which was applied to only 3 parameters (excluding bill width), identified head-bill length as the best measurement for sexing and correctly classified 65% of our sample (30% better than chance). In Dovekie, a species having a high degree of overlap between the sexes, discriminant function should be used with caution. It is recommended that a combination of morphometrics, behavior observation and genetic analysis be used to obtain the highest accuracy in sexing individuals correctly.

Dariusz Jakubas and Katarzyna Wojczulanis "Predicting the Sex of Dovekies by Discriminant Analysis," Waterbirds 30(1), 92-96, (1 March 2007).[0092:PTSODB]2.0.CO;2
Received: 30 January 2006; Accepted: 1 August 2006; Published: 1 March 2007

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