DNA from fecal sample to establish tiger population in India

DNA from fecal sample to establish tiger population in India

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Delhi (PTI) After using DNA from fecal samples of lions to carry out their census in Gujarat, the government is now planning to do the same for tigers across the country.

The government is taking help of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) to collect DNA of tigers present across the sanctuaries in India to find out their total number.

“We will collect DNA not from blood samples but from the fecal samples of the tigers,” a CCMB scientist S Shivaji told PTI.

“Every now and then we get to hear that two dozen tigers have gone missing or killed for their skin. These are all subjective statements and the exact figures are not known till date,” he said.

The tiger census report released last year by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, put the tiger population in India at 1,411.

The results include figures from 16 tiger states but those in Jharkhand and Sunderbans have not been included.

Mr. Shivaji said the DNA would be extracted from the epithelial cells present in these fecal samples.



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