Genetic subdivision in the giraffe based on mitochondrial DNA sequences. (A) Approximate geographic ranges, pelage patterns, and phylogenetic relationships between giraffe subspecies based on mtDNA sequences. Colored dots on the map represent sampling localities (see Additional files 1 and 10 for detailed locality information). The phylogenetic tree is a maximum-likelihood phylogram based on 1707 nucleotides of mtDNA sequence (1143 nt of cytochrome b, 429 nt control region and 135 nt of tRNA) from 266 giraffes. Asterisks along branches correspond to node-support values of > 90% bootstrap support. Stars at branch tips identify paraphyletic haplotypes found in Masai and reticulated giraffes. (B) Minimum-spanning network of control region haplotypes using the molecular-variance parsimony algorithm (see Additional file 8), where circles represent haplotypes, numbers within them correspond to haplotype designations, and circle sizes are proportional to the haplotype's frequency in the population. Branches represent a single nucleotide change and black squares represent multiple changes (indicated by adjacent numbers). Colors are coded as in Figure 1A.