News News

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] 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
Average (0 Votes)

Latest News Latest News


Human behaviour can trigger large carnivore attacks in developed countries

Human behaviour can trigger large carnivore attacks in developed countries

Thousands of interactions occur between people and large carnivores with no human injuries or fatalities. However, the numbers tell that since the 1950s, six large carnivores (brown bears, black bears, polar bears, cougars, wolves and coyotes in North America, and brown and polar bears in Europe -Scandinavia and Spain-) have been involved in 700 attacks on humans in North America and Europe. The number of people engaging in outdoor leisure activities in areas inhabited by large carnivores has increased over the past few decades, which increases the probability of an encounter with a large carnivore. However, a key factor triggering the observed increase in the number of attacks is inappropriate human behaviour when sharing the landscape with large carnivores. The results of this study show that half of the attacks were the consequence of inappropriate human behaviours: an increasing number of people is frequently engaging in risk-enhancing behaviours that can increase the probability of a risky encounter and a potential attack. The most common observed human behaviours triggering an attack were leaving children unattended, walking an unleashed dog and jogging at dusk/night. Understanding the circumstances associated with large carnivore attacks is useful to reduce them. The examples provided by the numerous cases of children injured/killed while left unattended by their parents, attacks on people jogging/walking alone at twilight and during hunting, should make us reflect on our responsibilities. informacion[at] Penteriani et al (2016) Human behaviour can trigger large carnivore attacks in developed countries. Sci Rep 6: 20552 doi:10.1038/srep20552