Within the field of wildlife genetics,
a variety of genetic approaches can be applied to wildlife management.
Such approaches include wildlife forensics, population genetic and phylogenetic
studies, kinship/relatedness studies, gender determination, and identification
of individuals or species through non-invasively collected samples.
Wildlife genetic techniques may be particularly useful in addressing
questions that have historically been difficult to address with traditional
wildlife management techniques.
Wildlife genetics research was initiated at NWRC in late 2000. Research
needs were identified through a survey of Center scientists, stakeholders,
and Wildlife Services operations personnel . Initial studies focused
on coyotes and blackbirds, which were seen as high priority species.
Today, research encompasss a broad range of taxa including wolves, coyotes,
vampire bats, raccoons, mountain beavers, beavers, and even avian influenza
viruses. The lab investigates questions at many spatial scales, from
metapopulation dynamics to the identity of an individual predating on
livestock, and temporal scales, from estimating historical gene flow
to elucidating kinship among contemporary individuals.
The NWRC Wildlife Genetics Lab works with a diverse collection of collaborators
including scientists in other programs at the Center and at NWRC field
stations, Wildlife Service Operations specialists, and International
Services, university, state and federal agency, and foreign government
DNA in the NWRC lab is collected using direct sampling (i.e., tissue
or blood) or non-invasive sampling (samples that are available from
an animal without having to handle it). Scientists have developed techniques
to sample coyotes through collecting their saliva from chewed, scented
lures placed in the field. This is a unique opportunity to monitor and
count coyotes in areas where trapping in unacceptable or unnecessary.
Please contact the scientists below if you have any questions, potential
collaborations, etc. Also, please use the links to view National Wildlife
Research Center sample collection protocols, including sample collection
data sheets. The address for submitting samples and contact information
is included under each protocol.
Collection Protocol PDF 16K
FTA Blood Card Collection Protocol PDF 60K
Collection Protocol PDF 15K
Collection Protocol PDF 14K
Swab Protocol PDF 16K
Please contact us before sending samples and for ordering relevant
Piaggio, A.J., Shriner, S.A., VanDalen, K.K., Franklin, A.B., Anderson., T.D., et al. 2012. Molecular surveillance of low pathogenic avian influenza viruses in wild birds across the United States: inferences from the hemagglutinin gene. PLoS ONE 7(12): e50834. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050834
Savidge, J. A., M. W. Hopken, G. W. Witmer, S. M. Jojola, J. J. Pierce, P. W. Burke, and A. J. Piaggio. 2012. Genetic evaluation of an attempted Rattus rattus eradication on Congo Cay, U.S. Virgin Islands, identifies importance of eradication units. Biological Invasions 14:2343-2354.
11-PIAGGIO, A. J., D. A. SAUGEY, AND D. B. SASSE. 2011. Phylogenetic and population genetic assessment of Rafinesque's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii). Pages 85-99 in S. C. Loeb, M. J. Lacki,and D. A. Miller, editors. Conservation and management of eastern big-eared bats: a symposium. USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station, General Technical Report SRS-145, Asheville, North Carolina.
10-FISCHER, J. W., R. E. JOOS, M. A. NEUBAUM, J. D. TAYLOR, D. L. BERGMAN, D. L. NOLTE, AND A. J. PIAGGIO. 2010. Locating North American beavers (Castor canadensis) sharing dens in the southwestern United States. Southwestern Naturalist 55:273-277. 74K
09-PELZ-SERRANO, K., A. MUNGUIA-VEGA, A. J. PIAGGIO, M. A. NEUBAUM, P. MUNCLINGER, C. VAN RIPER III, AND M. CULVER. 2009. Development of nine microsatellite loci for the American beaver, Castor canadensis (Rodentia: Castoridae). Molecular Ecology Resources 9:551-554.
09-PIAGGIO, A. J., J. A. FIGUEROA, AND S. L. PERKINS. 2009. Development and characterization of 15 polymorphic microsatellite loci isolated from Rafinesque's big-eared bat, Corynorhinus rafinesquii. Molecular Ecology Resources 9:1191-1193. 57K
09-PIAGGIO, A. J., K. E. G. MILLER, M. D. MATOCQ, AND S. L. PERKINS. 2009. Eight polymorphic microsatellite loci developed and characterized from Townsend's big-eared bat, Corynorhinus townsendii. Molecular Ecology Resources 9:258-260. 61K
09-PIAGGIO, A. J., M. A. NEUBAUM, H. YUEH, C. E. RITLAND, J. J. JOHNSTON, AND S. L. PERKINS. 2009. Development of 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci isolated from the mountain beaver, Aplodontia rufa rufa (Rafinesque). Molecular Ecology Resources 9:323-325. 63K
09-PIAGGIO, A. J., K. W. NAVO, AND C. W. STIHLER. 2009. Intraspecific comparison of population structure, genetic diversity, and dispersal among three subspecies of Townsend's big-eared bats, Corynorhinus towsendii townsendii, C. t. pallescens, and the endangered C. t. virginianus. Conservation Genetics 10:143-159. 423K
09-ROOT, J. J., R. B. PUSKAS, J. W. FISCHER, C. B. SWOPE, M. A. NEUBAUM, S. A. REEDER, AND A. J. PIAGGIO (early online) Landscape genetics of raccoons (Procyon lotor) associated with ridges and valleys of Pennsylvania: implications for oral rabies vaccination programs. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.
08-CARIAPPA, C. A., W. BALLARD, S. BRECK, A. J. PIAGGIO, AND M. NEUBAUM. 2008. Estimating population size of Mexican wolves noninvasively (Arizona). Ecological Restoration 26:14-16. 361K
M. B., K. H. BEARD, C. HAGEN, E. M. O'NEILL, K. E. MOCK, W. C. PITT,
AND T. C. GLENN. 2008. Isolation of microsatellite loci from the coqui
frog, Eleutherodactylus coqui. Molecular Ecology Resources
A. J., J. J. JOHNSTON, AND S. L. PERKINS. 2008. Development of polymorphic
microsatellite loci for the common vampire bat, Desmodus rotundus
(Chiroptera: Phylostomidae). Molecular Ecology Resources 8:440-442.
08-VANDALEN, K. K., T. D. ANDERSON, M. L. KILLIAN, J. C. PEDERSEN, A. B. FRANKLIN, AND A. J. PIAGGIO. 2008. Increased detection of influenza A H16 in the United States. Archives of Virology 153:1981-1983. 155K
Matt Hopken, M. S.
Lab phone (970)266-6098
Goal and Objectives