Navigation Links
The straight poop on counting tigers

NEW YORK (JUNE 18, 2009) The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today a major breakthrough in the science of saving tigers: high-tech DNA fecal sampling.

According to the study, researchers will be able to accurately count and assess tiger populations by identifying individual animals from the unique DNA signature found in their dung. In the past, DNA was collected from blood or tissue samples from tigers that were darted and sedated. The authors say this new non-invasive technique represents a powerful new tool for measuring the success of future conservation efforts.

The study appears in the June 16th edition of the journal Biological Conservation. Authors of the study include: Samrat Mondol of the National Centre for Biological Sciences; K. Ullas Karanth, N. Samba Kumar, and Arjun M. Gopalaswamy of the Wildlife Conservation Society and Centre for Wildlife Studies; and Anish Andheria and Uma Ramakrishnan, also of the National Centre for Biological Sciences.

"This study is a breakthrough in the science of counting tiger numbers, which is a key yardstick for measuring conservation success," said noted tiger scientist Dr. Ullas Karanth of the Wildlife Conservation Society. "The technique will allow researchers to establish baseline numbers on tiger populations in places where they have never been able to accurately count them before."

The study took place in India's Bandipur Reserve in Karnataka, a longterm WCS research site in the Western Ghats that supports a high abundance of tigers. Researchers collected 58 tiger scats following rigorous protocols, then identified individual animals through their DNA. Tiger populations were then estimated using sophisticated computer models. These results were validated against camera trap data, where individual tigers are photographed automatically and identified by their unique stripe pattern. Camera-trapping is considered the gold standard in tiger population estimation, but is impractical in several areas where tiger densities are low or field conditions too rugged.

"We see genetic sampling as a valuable additional tool for estimating tiger abundance in places like the Russian Far East, Sunderban mangrove swamps and dense rainforests of Southeast Asia where camera trapping might be impractical due to various environmental and logistical constraints," said Karanth.


Contact: Stephen Sautner
Wildlife Conservation Society

Related biology news :

1. In the race to the top, zigzagging is more efficient than a straight line
2. CIC to Host Webinar Featuring Independent Research Firm: Enabling Straight Through Processing - Why the Insurance Industry Needs Electronic Signature Technology
3. Mars Express -- 5000 orbits and counting
4. When accounting for the global nitrogen budget, dont forget fish
5. Counting tumor cells in blood predicts treatment benefit in prostate cancer
6. Study shows Californias autism increase not due to better counting, diagnosis
7. Carbon accounting from atmospheric measurements -- the aircraft perspective
8. Counting sheep in climate change predictions
9. Study says 2000 tigers possible in Thailand
10. Body part by body part, Sumatran tigers are being sold into extinction
11. Genetic corridors are next step to saving tigers
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
The straight poop on counting tigers
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015 NXTD ) ... focused on the growing mobile commerce market and ... StackCommerce, a leading marketplace to discover and buy ... smart wallet on StackSocial for this holiday season. ... the "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , Oct. 27, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today announced that Google has adopted the Synaptics ® ... controller solutions to power its newest flagship smartphones, the ... Huawei. --> --> ... Google to provide strategic collaboration in the joint development ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced the ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... recognition biometrics market to grow at a CAGR of ... --> The report, Global Voice Recognition Biometrics ... market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015  Culprits beware, a University ... professor Jan Halámek, is taking crime scene fingerprint ...   -->   ... --> --> Halámek ... discovered a straightforward concept for identifying whether a ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015  Champions Oncology, Inc. (CSBR), engaged ... to personalize the development and use of oncology drugs, ... Officer, will be presenting at the LD MICRO Investor ... Standard Time (PST).  The conference, held at the Luxe ... CA , will feature 200 small/micro-cap companies and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... an all-inclusive program that focuses on a daily routine ... how patients take their medication can affect the way ... establish and follow to their a daily routine are ... is to help patients better manage their hypothyroidism ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... • Jeon Jin Bio Corp, a ... rodent control solutions , Bird Free, an ... across all sensory modalities including visual, smell, taste and touch, enabling safe, effective avian ...
Breaking Biology Technology: