First set of microsatellite markers for genetic characterization of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) based on tissue and hair samples
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Noninvasive genetic techniques have become indispensible tools in wildlife conservation and management. Here, we report the development of the first set of microsatellite markers for the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber). All 15 loci show considerable variation within the sampled region in southwestern Germany, with number of alleles ranging from two to six alleles per locus. A comparison between tissue and hair samples revealed that amplification success was only slightly lower for hair samples, making their use in noninvasive monitoring feasible. Despite some evidence for false alleles and allelic dropout, 77% of all loci were genotyped successfully among all hair samples and loci tested. The developed markers will be used for subspecies differentiation and reconstruction of dispersal routes, following reintroductions in Central Europe.