Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 35.2 (2012) Pages: 267-275

Non-invasive genetic approaches for estimation of ungulate population size: a study on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) based on faeces

Ebert, C., Sandrini, J., Spielberger, B., Hohmann, U., Thiele, B.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2012.35.0267

Abstract

Estimating population size is particularly difficult for animal species living in concealing habitats with dense vegetation. This is the case for roe deer as for many other ungulates. Our objective was to develop a non–invasive genetic capture–mark–recapture approach based on roe deer faeces collected along transects. In a pilot study, we collected 1,790 roe deer faeces during five sampling days in a forested study area in south western Germany. We extracted DNA from 410 of these samples and carried out microsatellite analysis using seven dinucleotide markers. The analyses resulted in 328 useable consensus genotypes which were assigned to 174 individuals. The population size estimated using a Bayesian approach was 94 (82–111) male and 136 (121–156) female roe deer. Our study shows that non–invasive genetic methods are a valuable management tool for roe deer.

Keywords

Abundance, Ungulates, Faecal pellets, Capreolus capreolus, Capture–mark–recapture, DNA

Cite

Ebert, C., Sandrini, J., Spielberger, B., Hohmann, U., Thiele, B., 2012. Non-invasive genetic approaches for estimation of ungulate population size: a study on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) based on faeces. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 35: 267-275, DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2012.35.0267

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Reception date:

11/01/2012

Acceptation date:

03/04/2012

Publication date:

06/11/2012

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