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A Fluorescent Tracer and Marker for Animal Studies

James Evans and Richard E. Griffith, Jr.
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 37, No. 1 (Jan., 1973), pp. 73-81
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3799741
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3799741
Page Count: 9
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A Fluorescent Tracer and Marker for Animal Studies
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Abstract

Rhodamine B solution applied on baits or as a foliar spray in 0.1 to 50 percent concentrations, traced food consumption in black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) by marking the gut, feces, and urine. Single exposures to low concentrations (less than 3 percent) marked the excreta for 6 to 8 days; continuous feedings and higher concentrations resulted in dye encapsulations in tissues and longer excretion of dye. Except under very dry conditions, animals contacting treated vegetation or soil were visibly marked for at least 6 weeks. Under natural light, the dye appeared maroon; it fluoresced brilliant orange under UV light and was even discernible in blood. Jackrabbits sprayed with dye remained marked for at least 5 months, and picked up the dye internally by absorption and grooming. Rhodamine B Solution also acted as a tracer in predatory birds and animals that ate prey treated with foliar spray containing the dye.

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