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Title: The Use Of DNA Fingerprinting To Study The Population Dynamics Of Otters (Lutra Lutra) In Southern Britiain - A Feasibility Study
Author: K Coxon
Author: P Chanin
Author: J Dallas
Author: T Sykes
Author: Environment Agency
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_484, Representation ID: 156, Object ID: 1823
Many factors have the potential to limit the recovery of otter (Lutra lutra) populations.including road deaths, resource constraints such as prey, and habitat availability and quality. Current practical conservation measures are based on surveys assessing habitat potential, which is followed up by habitat improvements. There is very little investigation of the requirements of the animals themselves due to lack of suitable survey techniques. The use of DNA fingerprinting of spraint provides a much needed survey tool to address the acknowledged need for research into the conservation needs and population biology of this species. The Report presents the findings of a one-year feasibility study into the use of DNA fingerprinting to study the otter recovery in southern Britain. Four catchments were surveyed, one in Devon, two in Somerset and one in Hampshire. The long-term objective of this study is to characterise the population dynamics underlying the otter recovery in the UK over a period of four years, as a contribution to identifying the factors limiting population expansion, to facilitate a more focused, efficient and effective conservation effort. The objective of the feasibility study was to carry out a field test of the effectiveness of fingerprinting techniques in identifying individual otters and to develop a protocol for applying these techniques to large scale, repeatable projects. The report concludes that the DNA fingerprinting technique applied to otter spraint has great potential for investigation of otter biology but requires development before it can be applied to large-scale projects. Specific recommendations for further development work are made for consideration by the Agency’s Conservation Function and by the UK Biodiversity Action Plan Steering Group.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: Aquatic animalsNature conservationPopulation dynamicsBiological surveysExcretionDefaecationFreshwater ecologyMarine environment
Taxonomic Keywords: Lutra lutra
Extent: 146
Total file downloads: 277

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