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Optimization of protocols for DNA extraction from fecal samples

High-throughput sequencing offers new possibilities in molecular ecology and conservation studies. However, its potential has not yet become fully exploited for noninvasive studies of free–ranging animals, such as those based on feces. High–throughput sequencing allows sequencing of short DNA fragments and could allow simultaneous genotyping of a very large number of samples and markers at a low cost. The application of high throughput genotyping to fecal samples from wildlife has been hindered by several labor intensive steps. Alternative protocols which could allow higher throughput were evaluated for two of these steps: sample collection and DNA extraction. Two different field sampling and seven different DNA extraction methods were tested on grey wolf (Canis lupus) feces. There was high variation in genotyping success rates. The field sampling method based on surface swabbing performed much worse than the extraction from a fecal fragment. In addition, there is a lot of room for improvement in the DNA extraction step. Optimization of protocols can lead to very much more efficient, cheaper and higher throughput noninvasive monitoring. Selection of appropriate markers is still of paramount importance to increase genotyping success. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Sarabia et al (2020) Towards high-throughput analyses of fecal samples from wildlife. Animal Biodiver Conserv 43.2: 271–283 Doi 10.32800/abc.2020.43.0271


http://abc.museucienciesjournals.cat/volum-43-2-2020/towards-high-throughput-analyses-of-fecal-samples-from-wildlife/?lang=en
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Large carnivore damage in Europe: Analysis of compensation and prevention programs

Large carnivore damage in Europe: Analysis of compensation and prevention programs

The mitigation of conflicts associated with large carnivore damage to livestock and agriculture is pivotal to their conservation. Current programs to compensate and prevent large carnivore damage in 27 European countries and the factors related to the economic costs of these programs are evaluated here. Overall, high compensation costs are associated with free-ranging livestock (68% of total costs) and with national economic wealth. Contrary to general belief, the return of large carnivores does not always translate into higher compensation costs. This study identifies a tendency towards prioritizing compensation over prevention; only a few wealthy countries pay the majority of the money allocated for prevention programs to adapt husbandry practices to the presence of large carnivores. Results show that programs mainly focused on paying large compensation amounts will often fail to build tolerance towards predators. To mitigate conflicts and optimize the cost-effectiveness of publicly funded measures, responsible agencies should be proactive, focus on prevention-based policies and periodically evaluate the effectiveness of compensation and prevention programs in an adaptive manner. With this purpose and to identify further solutions for conflict mitigation, a pan-European database of damage occurrence, management actions and associated costs is called for. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Bautista et al (2019) Large carnivore damage in Europe: analysis of compensation and prevention policies. Biol Conserv https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2019.04.019


https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320718314423