A highly informative microsatellite panel for individual identification and sex determination of jungle cats (Felis chaus)
The jungle cat (Felis chaus), a small-sized felid, is distributed across Southeast and South Asia to Egypt in Africa. In India, it is one of the most common small cat species but no reliable methods are available to monitor its population status. We describe a non-invasive genetic monitoring technique using fecal samples for individual identification and sex determination of jungle cats. We evaluated 21 feline microsatellites and optimized a panel of 11 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci that yield a cumulative Probability of Identity between siblings value of 5.51×10−6. We used this panel to identify 110 individuals from 118 jungle cat scats collected from tiger reserves in Central India. We identified 22 males and 35 females by amplifying a fragment of the Amelogenin protein gene. This panel will be helpful to study genetic structure, gene flow, relatedness, sex ratio, and population estimation in jungle cats.