Population monitoring using mark-recapture analysis — Non-invasive sampling for density estimation & monitoring of wildlife species, particularly introduced mammalian pests:
- Management of wild animal populations usually requires some assessment of abundance. We have developed methods involving a simple tube design for sampling hair from a range of key vertebrate pests. ‘Passive’ (non-invasive) methods often are better for cryptic or trap-shy species, especially when they are at low population density in the landscape;
- We currently have expertise and genetic markers available for a wide range of species including stoats, ferrets cats, mice, rabbits, rats (ship, Norway, Pacific), , ungulates (red deer, fallow deer, sambar deer, rusa deer, goats), dogs, tammar wallaby, and brushtail possum. Through our genotyping service we are able to develop markers for specific species.
Detection of species:
- DNA data can assist in determining the presence of a species, either a new invasion or re-immigration following pest control. This can assist in identifying sources of immigrants as well as likely frequency to assist in control operations;
- The identity of a species can be made from the presence of forensic samples such as hair or scat. These can potentially be matched to an individual. This can be useful when an incursion has recently been detected in a pest-free area and whether such samples were derived from one or more individuals. This can also be useful where a match is required between samples and a specimen, e.g. to confirm the capture of an individual.
Design and analysis of monitoring projects:
- The design of mark-recapture type projects is critical for achieving the best quality data. This includes information on spacing of tubes, frequency of field sampling through to the final analysis. We encourage any potential customers wishing to embark on such a project to contact us initially to scope out requirements and assist in the field design.
- DNA for population estimation: stoats in a New Zealand beech forest
- Are some possums unable to be trapped, poisoned or monitored?
Cat hair tube