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Golden eagle not sensitive to ultraviolet light?

Posted on Apr 25 2014 | IANS

New York, April 25 : In what could lead to more effective conservation strategies of the golden eagle, researcher have now discovered that the raptors may have a sharper sense of smell but not as sensitive to ultraviolet light as previously thought.

For the study, researchers sequenced the genome of the golden eagle for the first time.

"We find little genomic evidence that golden eagles are sensitive to ultraviolet light," said Jacqueline Doyle, postdoctoral research associate at Purdue University in the US.

"Painting wind turbines with ultraviolet-reflective paint is probably not going to prevent eagles from colliding with turbines," the researcher noted.

The genome provides thousands of genetic markers that would help researchers track populations and monitor eagle mortality, said the researchers.

"Having the golden eagle genome in hand could directly affect the way we make conservation and management decisions," said Doyle, postdoctoral research associate at Purdue University in US.

The researchers generated the genome by extracting DNA from a blood sample of a golden eagle that was captured with a spring-loaded net in California.

Though it is one of the most widespread avian species, the golden eagle is threatened throughout much of its range by poaching, shrinking habitats and fatal collisions with wind turbines.

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