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A Coyote in Sheep's Clothing: Predator Identification from Saliva

Christen Lenney Williams, Karen Blejwas, John J. Johnston and Michael M. Jaeger
Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006)
Vol. 31, No. 4 (Winter, 2003), pp. 926-932
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3784437
Page Count: 7
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A Coyote in Sheep's Clothing: Predator Identification from Saliva
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Abstract

We used polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism) and microsatellite analyses to identify canid species, gender, and individual genotype in samples containing a large excess of domestic sheep DNA. These methods were then used to investigate the feasibility of identifying predators from saliva on predation wounds. We analyzed predation wound samples from 19 sheep carcasses. Coyote DNA was identified in 18 samples (95%), of which 17 contained male coyote DNA (94%) and 11 (61%) yielded heterozygous microsatellite genotypes at ≥1 locus. These methods have promise for genetic identification of individual predators.

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