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The use of DNA fingerprinting to study the population dynamics of otters (Lutra lutra) in southern Britain: a feasibility study

The use of DNA fingerprinting to study the population dynamics of otters (Lutra lutra) in southern Britain: a feasibility study
The use of DNA fingerprinting to study the population dynamics of otters (Lutra lutra) in southern Britain: a feasibility study
Many factors have the potential to limit the recovery of otter (Lutra lutra) populations.including road deaths, resource constraints such as prey, and habitat availability and quality. Current practical conservation measures are based on surveys assessing habitat potential, which is followed up by habitat improvements. There is very little investigation of the requirements of the animals themselves due to lack of suitable survey techniques. The use of DNA fingerprinting of spraint provides a much needed survey tool to address the acknowledged need for research into the conservation needs and population biology of this species. The Report presents the findings of a one-year feasibility study into the use of DNA fingerprinting to study the otter recovery in southern Britain. Four catchments were surveyed, one in Devon, two in Somerset and one in Hampshire. The long-term objective of this study is to characterise the population dynamics underlying the otter recovery in the UK over a period of four years, as a contribution to identifying the factors limiting population expansion, to facilitate a more focused, efficient and effective conservation effort. The objective of the feasibility study was to carry out a field test of the effectiveness of fingerprinting techniques in identifying individual otters and to develop a protocol for applying these techniques to large scale, repeatable projects. The report concludes that the DNA fingerprinting technique applied to otter spraint has great potential for investigation of otter biology but requires development before it can be applied to large-scale projects. Specific recommendations for further development work are made for consideration by the Agency’s Conservation Function and by the UK Biodiversity Action Plan Steering Group.
W202
Environment Agency
Coxon, Karen
fdcbb6a1-f74c-4ba0-87d7-7e133e07117f
Chanin, Paul
6dd2e79c-e187-4d47-ab3a-4ff6a67ca537
Dallas, John
c2dc2927-ff02-4666-9d71-26b95f1fc55e
Sykes, Tim
e622a522-7490-4fc8-9869-0f376f73561c
Coxon, Karen
fdcbb6a1-f74c-4ba0-87d7-7e133e07117f
Chanin, Paul
6dd2e79c-e187-4d47-ab3a-4ff6a67ca537
Dallas, John
c2dc2927-ff02-4666-9d71-26b95f1fc55e
Sykes, Tim
e622a522-7490-4fc8-9869-0f376f73561c

Coxon, Karen, Chanin, Paul, Dallas, John and Sykes, Tim (1999) The use of DNA fingerprinting to study the population dynamics of otters (Lutra lutra) in southern Britain: a feasibility study (R&D Technical Report, W202) Bristol. Environment Agency 146pp.

Record type: Monograph (Project Report)

Abstract

Many factors have the potential to limit the recovery of otter (Lutra lutra) populations.including road deaths, resource constraints such as prey, and habitat availability and quality. Current practical conservation measures are based on surveys assessing habitat potential, which is followed up by habitat improvements. There is very little investigation of the requirements of the animals themselves due to lack of suitable survey techniques. The use of DNA fingerprinting of spraint provides a much needed survey tool to address the acknowledged need for research into the conservation needs and population biology of this species. The Report presents the findings of a one-year feasibility study into the use of DNA fingerprinting to study the otter recovery in southern Britain. Four catchments were surveyed, one in Devon, two in Somerset and one in Hampshire. The long-term objective of this study is to characterise the population dynamics underlying the otter recovery in the UK over a period of four years, as a contribution to identifying the factors limiting population expansion, to facilitate a more focused, efficient and effective conservation effort. The objective of the feasibility study was to carry out a field test of the effectiveness of fingerprinting techniques in identifying individual otters and to develop a protocol for applying these techniques to large scale, repeatable projects. The report concludes that the DNA fingerprinting technique applied to otter spraint has great potential for investigation of otter biology but requires development before it can be applied to large-scale projects. Specific recommendations for further development work are made for consideration by the Agency’s Conservation Function and by the UK Biodiversity Action Plan Steering Group.

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Coxon 1999 - Version of Record
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Published date: 1999

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 436448
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/436448
PURE UUID: a7bfa0bf-a485-44d9-a628-a48ffcf96b37
ORCID for Tim Sykes: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0665-0368

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Date deposited: 11 Dec 2019 17:30
Last modified: 15 Aug 2020 01:53

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Contributors

Author: Karen Coxon
Author: Paul Chanin
Author: John Dallas
Author: Tim Sykes ORCID iD

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