We intend to complete the bar-coding of the terrestrial fauna, including some 35 avian species (Thibault, 1974), the invasive rats, and remaining recorded species of reptiles. For the common species of reptiles and mammals, we will put the genetic profiles from Moorea into context by analyzing already collected samples (or already published sequences) from elsewhere in the Pacific. To resolve the source of the genetically distinct green turtles that feed around the Moorea, we will obtain genetic data from additional samples from this area and from the major French Polynesian nesting population (Scilly Atoll) and compare this to the Indo-Pacific database of mtDNA and microsatellite diversity.

Field

Following previous protocols, we aim to sequence 5-10 individuals per species from geographically dispersed sites around the island. Where practical, sampling will be focused on sites also used for collecting of terrestrial arthropods, so as to enable subsequent diet analyses. Collected specimens will be identified, photographed and prepared as vouchers at the Gump Station. DNA will also be extracted on site. We expect these activities to take two 7- 10 day trips. Non-destructive sampling of marine turtle, including the key rookery of green turtles from Scilly Atoll, will be facilitated a local biologist already working on marine turtles in French Polynesia.

Laboratory

In most cases where the bar-coding analysis will be restricted to the standard segment of COI. For the invasive reptiles and for marine turtles, the molecular analyses will be extended to loci for which there are published information from other Pacific islands — e.g. cytochrome b for Gehyra and Lepidodactylus, mtDNA control region for marine turtles, and microsatellites for green turtles and Lepidodactylus. Specimens and tissue/DNA samples will be deposited in appropriate museums/repositories (e.g., MVZ Berkeley and NHM Paris). For turtles, DNA will be extracted and amplified in French Polynesia. Any export of samples to museums/repositories will comply with CITES regulations.

Timeline:

2008 — sampling, arrange samples from other institutions, COI barcoding;
2009 — complete sampling, complete genetic analyses