An optimized hair trap for non-invasive genetic studies of small cryptic mammals

  • Reiners T
  • Encarnação J
  • Wolters V
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Abstract

As sample quality and quantity is a crucial factor in non-invasive genetics, we focused on the improvement of sampling efficiency of glue hair traps. We invented an optimized hair trap with moveable parts which enhanced sampling of high-quality genetic material. With the aid of the optimized hair trap, we were able to remotely pluck a sufficient amount of hair bulbs from our study animal the common hamster (Cricetus cricetus) with a trapping success of 49.3% after one survey night. The number of collected hairs with bulbs ranged between 1 and 50, with an average of 20.7 +/- 14.8. Subsequently, the use of the hair trap in combination with a simplified laboratory routine allowed us to amplify species-specific microsatellites with an amplification success of 96.2% and ADO of 4.6%. This optimized trap may find usage for species identification or could be used as an instrument for long-term genetic monitoring of mammal populations.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cricetus cricetus
  • Microsatellites
  • Non-invasive genetic sampling
  • Remote collecting

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