Scatology as a potential non-invasive conservation tool for the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) in South Africa

Author: 
K.S. Herring, E. van Marle-Köster and P. Bloomer
Volume: 
8
Issue: 
1
Page: 
1
Last Page: 
6
Year: 
2 007

This project has been initiated by the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre who are currently engaged in implementing of a national population management plan for the cheetah in order to ensure that there is gene flow between the subpopulations that exist in protected areas.  The aim is to verify if scatology can be used as a tool to genotype cheetah from wild populations in South Africa. Molecular scatology is a relatively recently developed non-invasive technique for obtaining genetic information on wild mammal populations.  This technique is of special interest when studying rare, nocturnal or elusive species because there is no need to capture or harm the animal.  With the aid of certain molecular approaches that can be used on faeces, in conjunction with conventional analyses, the genetic structure, demography and life history of specific populations can be determined.

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