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Genetic evidence for allopatric speciation of the Siberian ibex Capra sibirica in India

Bheem Dutt Joshi, Gul Jabin, Amira Sharief, Vineet Kumar, Tanoy Mukherjee, Manish Kumar, Ashutosh Singh, Sujeet Kumar Singh, Kailash Chandra, Lalit Kumar Sharma, Mukesh Thakur*

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ABSTRACT: Montane systems, formed by a series of climatic oscillations and temporal topographic metamorphosis, have broken up the contiguous distribution of widespread species and accelerated allopatric speciation. We used partial fragment of mitochondrial cytb gene to address speciation in the Sibreian ibex Capra sibirica from the entire range. The present study demonstrated that Siberian ibex is a polytypic species, plausibly formed by lumping of at least 2 species and or 3 to 4 sub-species. Bayesian phylogeny exhibited that the Indian-Tajikistan (I-T) clade is adequately diverged from the other clades based on the mean intra-specific distance criterion and warrants to be recognised as a distinct species. We provide pragmatic evidence for the endorsement of the I-T clade as a distinct species from the Siberian ibex under the IUCN Red list to prioritize conservation of this species at global and regional scales.