Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2011 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Genes, urban lifestyles and wanderer phenotypes in American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Clark, Anne
Co-Authors: Anne B. Clark1, Miguel Vilar1, Andrea Townsend2, Koji Lum1, Kevin J. McGowan2 1Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York 2 Cornell University, Ithaca

Abstract: Personality attributes of wild animals can profoundly affect their responses to and success under different ecological conditions. Dispersal into new habitats, particularly into urban habitats, may be linked to both species-typical and individual risk sensitivity. Exploratory behavior in Great Tits1 (Parus major) and migration distance in humans2 are related to dopamine-receptor gene (DRD4) variation and temperament at both population and individual levels. We report here preliminary results relating genetic and behavioral variation within a long-studied population of the American Crow, a recently urbanized species.