Wildlife Forensics

In previous chapters we have seen how genetic data can be used to identify individuals, determine their population of origin, and assign them to a particular species. In Chapter 6, for example, we looked at how individual-specific genotypes enabled researchers to link faecal samples to different coyotes. Population affinities were discussed in Chapter 4 when we looked at how assignment tests can be used to determine which population an individual originated from. We have also seen several examples in which species-specific markers were used to identify prey remains. In the following sections we will look at how these same methods are used in wildlife forensics to identify individuals and the populations and species to which they belong, thereby providing information that can help to solve cases of suspected poaching or illegal trade.

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