Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Friday, 21 June 2013

DNA to identify canid predation on livestock

Sundqvist, A. K., Ellegren, H., & Vilà, C. (2008). Wolf or dog? Genetic identification of predators from saliva collected around bite wounds on prey.Conservation Genetics, 9(5), 1275-1279.
Wolf predation on livestock is a management problem in many areas and is often used to justify control measures against the wolves. However, wolves coexist with dogs across their range, and dogs could be responsible for attacks blamed on wolves. In this study we evaluate the possibility of obtaining sufficient DNA for species identification of the predator from saliva remaining close to bite wounds following a canid attack. Predator DNA of reasonably high quality was successfully extracted from bite wounds on two sheep that had been attacked on a farm and were genotyped using six informative microsatellite markers. A single consensus genotype could be constructed from the bite wounds of both sheep which we compared to genotypes obtained from Scandinavian wolves and dogs. The results clearly showed that the saliva sampled originated from a single dog. This report thus demonstrates the feasibility of predator species identification from bite wounds and also illustrates that it can not be taken for granted that wolves are responsible for canid livestock kills.

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