Third International Scientific and Practical Conference “Eagles of the Palearctic: Study and Conservation”

Raptors Conservation. Suppl. 2. Proceedings of Conferences

Mitochondrial phylogeny and systematics of palearctic eagles

Starikov I.J. (Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia; Cherepovets State University, Cherepovets, Russia)
Wink M. (Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnologies, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany)

Ivan Starikov
Michael Wink
Recommended citation: Starikov I.J., Wink M. Mitochondrial Phylogeny and Systematics of Palearctic Eagles. – Raptors Conservation. 2023. S2: 340–341. DOI: 10.19074/1814-8654- 2023-2-340-341 URL:

The eagles sensu lato are a polyphyletic group of large raptors represented in the Palearctic realm by 13 species belonging to two subfamilies: Aquilinae (true Eagles) and Haliaeetinae (Sea Eagles). Phylogenetic position of this group taxa at species level and above based on nuclear and mitochondrial markers is currently clarified (Mindell et al., 2018), while intraspecific variability and genetic differences between subspecies are generally not well understood. This study examined the available mitochondrial DNA sequences from GenBank and BOLD databases, also unpublished sequences obtained by the authors were added. Three markers for which sufficient data is available were selected for analysis: cytochrome oxidase 1 (COI) used for DNA-barcoding, cytochrome b (Cyt b), popular in phylogenetic studies, and the hypervariable control region of mtDNA. Phylogenetic trees were constructed using Bayesian Inference, Maximum Likelihood and Neighbor-joining methods, haplotype networks were also constructed. Genetic distances between taxa and time of its divergence were calculated. The obtained results are being discussed in a comparative context at the inter – and intraspecific levels. The possibility of its application and the use of particular genetic markers in general to solve problems of systematics of these species, as well as recent taxonomic changes are considered. The questions of the formation of taxa in the evolution process and their modern distribution in the Palearctic are discussed.