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Molecular forensics in avian conservation: a DNA-based approach for identifying mammalian predators of ground-nesting birds and eggs

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Research Notes, January 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (82nd percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (88th percentile)

Mentioned by

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1 blog
twitter
1 tweeter

Citations

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16 Dimensions

Readers on

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76 Mendeley
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Title
Molecular forensics in avian conservation: a DNA-based approach for identifying mammalian predators of ground-nesting birds and eggs
Published in
BMC Research Notes, January 2016
DOI 10.1186/s13104-015-1797-1
Pubmed ID
Authors

Matthew W. Hopken, Elizabeth K. Orning, Julie K. Young, Antoinette J. Piaggio

Abstract

The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a ground-nesting bird from the Northern Rocky Mountains and a species at risk of extinction in in multiple U.S. states and Canada. Herein we report results from a proof of concept that mitochondrial and nuclear DNAs from mammalian predator saliva could be non-invasively collected from depredated greater sage-grouse eggshells and carcasses and used for predator species identification. Molecular forensic approaches have been applied to identify predators from depredated remains as one strategy to better understand predator-prey dynamics and guide management strategies. This can aid conservation efforts by correctly identifying predators most likely to impact threatened and endangered species. DNA isolated from non-invasive samples around nesting sites (e.g. fecal or hair samples) is one method that can increase the success and accuracy of predator species identification when compared to relying on nest remains alone. Predator saliva DNA was collected from depredated eggshells and carcasses using swabs. We sequenced two partial fragments of two mitochondrial genes and obtained microsatellite genotypes using canid specific primers for species and individual identification, respectively. Using this multilocus approach we were able to identify predators, at least down to family, from 11 out of 14 nests (79 %) and three out of seven carcasses (47 %). Predators detected most frequently were canids (86 %), while other taxa included rodents, a striped skunk, and cattle. We attempted to match the genotypes of individual coyotes obtained from eggshells and carcasses with those obtained from fecal samples and coyotes collected in the areas, but no genotype matches were found. Predation is a main cause of nest failure in ground-nesting birds and can impact reproduction and recruitment. To inform predator management for ground-nesting bird conservation, accurate identification of predator species is necessary. Considering predation can have a high impact on recruitment, predation events are very difficult to observe, and predator species are difficult to identify visually from nest remains, molecular approaches that reduce the need to observe or handle animals offer an additional tool to better understand predator-prey dynamics at nesting sites.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profile of 1 tweeter who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 76 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 76 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 15 20%
Researcher 14 18%
Student > Master 12 16%
Student > Bachelor 7 9%
Student > Postgraduate 6 8%
Other 14 18%
Unknown 8 11%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 33 43%
Environmental Science 11 14%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 8 11%
Computer Science 3 4%
Medicine and Dentistry 2 3%
Other 6 8%
Unknown 13 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 8. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 14 January 2016.
All research outputs
#2,659,532
of 15,985,155 outputs
Outputs from BMC Research Notes
#418
of 3,504 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#65,653
of 371,868 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Research Notes
#46
of 411 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,985,155 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 83rd percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 3,504 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 4.6. This one has done well, scoring higher than 88% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 371,868 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 82% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 411 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 88% of its contemporaries.