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Chapter 6: Hair collection

Kendall, Katherine C.; McKelvey, Kevin S. 2008. Chapter 6: Hair collection. In: Long, R. A.; MacKay, P.; Ray, J. C.; Zielinski, W. J., editors. Noninvasive survey methods for North American carnivores. Washington, D. C.: Island Press. p. 135-176.

The identification of species from hair samples is probably as old as humanity, but did not receive much scientific attention until efficient and relatively inexpensive methods for amplifying DNA became available. Prior to this time, keys were used to identify species through the microscopic analysis of hair shaft morphology (Moore et al. 1974; also see Raphael 1994 for a review of pre-DNA approaches to species identification). For North American carnivores, such analyses are reliable primarily at the family level. Canid hairs, for example, can consistently be differentiated from felid hairs (McDaniel et al. 2000), but hairs of closely related species are often difficult to distinguish. Indeed, for most species, DNA analysis is required to confirm species identification from hair samples, as well as to determine individual identification and population characteristics such as abundance (Woods et al. 1999), substructure (Proctor et al. 2002, 2005), movement (Proctor 2003; Proctor et al. 2004), relatedness (Ritland 1996), and population bottlenecks (Luikart and Cornuet 1998).

Keywords: hair samples, DNA, North American carnivores

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Chapter 6: Hair collection
Electronic Publish Date: April 3, 2009
Last Update:
April 3, 2009

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