The utility of molecular DNA markers for monitoring population trends and genetic structure of woodland caribou
Howard, Brelynn J.
Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry
DisciplineNatural Resources Management
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The use of non-invasive genetic sampling techniques is becoming frequent in the field of conservation. An examination of population trends of woodland caribou in Canada reveals the potential for fecal DNA analysis. Various sampling techniques have been practiced throughout multiple studies, using different protocols among species. The use of fecal matter to extract DNA has been done for terrestrial and aquatic species. There are three main methods for storing collected fecal matter, drying and lyophilisation, freezing and using solutions. For DNA extraction, two main brands were used for the process, Qiagen, and PureLink. This literature review focuses on the current understanding of woodland caribou population trends in Canada, and the potential for fecal DNA to close the knowledge gap between known knowledge and future trends. The use of fecal matter genetic sampling has potential to benefit the understanding and enhance current survey methodology of woodland caribou populations in Canada, and specifically, in the province of Ontario.