Technical Note

Conservation Genetics

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 1099-1101

First online:

Forensic DNA confirms intraguild killing of a chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii) by a feral cat (Felis catus)

  • A. S. GlenAffiliated withDepartment of Environment and Conservation, Dwellingup Research CentreInvasive Animals Co-Operative Research Centre, University of Canberra Email author 
  • , O. BerryAffiliated withInvasive Animals Co-Operative Research Centre, University of CanberraSchool of Animal Biology (M092), The University of Western Australia
  • , D. R. SutherlandAffiliated withDepartment of Environment and Conservation, Dwellingup Research CentreInvasive Animals Co-Operative Research Centre, University of Canberra
  • , S. GarretsonAffiliated withDepartment of Environment and Conservation, Dwellingup Research CentreInvasive Animals Co-Operative Research Centre, University of Canberra
  • , T. RobinsonAffiliated withDepartment of Environment and Conservation, Dwellingup Research CentreInvasive Animals Co-Operative Research Centre, University of Canberra
  • , P. J. de ToresAffiliated withDepartment of Environment and Conservation, Dwellingup Research Centre

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Abstract

Because animals killed by predators are often found partially consumed or decomposed, identification of the predator is often unachievable by post mortem examination. Forensic DNA offers an alternative in such situations. Using a novel method to analyse DNA from bite wounds on a freshly-killed chuditch Dasyurus geoffroii, we describe the first confirmed instance in this species of intraguild killing by a feral cat. Unlike post mortem examination, our method of DNA melt curve analysis is highly accurate and requires less time and expense than DNA sequencing.

Keywords

Carnivore Melt curve analysis Predator identification