Genetic monitoring of tiger source populations is a conservation priority, yet due to low sample sizes and poor DNA quality, scat DNA has failed to produce the powerful studies needed to inform management decisions in humid, tropical landscapes. Here, we report the first successful extraction of DNA from tiger scent marks, a hitherto neglected genetic resource. We show that tiger scent DNA quality is equal or superior to scat DNA, and as scent marks are encountered 2–8 times more frequently in the wild than scats, they constitute an important genetic resource for monitoring populations and individuals.
Anthony Caragiulo, Rob Stuart Alexander Pickles, Joseph Alexander Smith, Olutolani Smith, John Goodrich, George Amato. Tiger (Panthera tigris) scent DNA: a valuable conservation tool for individual identification and population monitoring. Conservation Genetics Resources DOI 10.1007/s12686-015-0476-9