DNA analysis at the
UI wildlife professor Lisette Waits’ use of DNA analysis on hair and scat samples from the rare cats apparently will be the first time the technique has been applied to snow leopards, which typically show little genetic variation among their population groups.
Waits worked with colleagues at
Waits said DNA analysis will help scientists to better estimate snow leopard numbers.
“I am really excited to provide new tools that will aid in the conservation and management of this threatened species,” said Waits.
Waits worked in cooperation with Warren Johnson of the NIH Laboratory of Genomic Diversity in
Using genetic samples provided by
Conservation scientists now will be able to test field collected specimens, such as feces and shed hairs, to identify individuals or determine sex.
The Snow Leopard Trust has sent 85 fecal samples to the UI for genetic assessment. These samples were collected in
Waits expects results by summer that will be shared with snow leopard conservationists around the world.
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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