U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

January 2003


Published by Wildlife Society Bulletin 2003, 31(4):926-932.


We used polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism) and microsatellite analyses to identify canid species, gender, and individual genotype in samples containing a large excess of domestic sheep DNA. These methods were then used to investigate the feasibility of identifying predators from saliva on predation wounds. We analyzed predation wound samples from 19 sheep carcasses. Coyote DNA was identified in 18 samples (95%), of which 17 contained male coyote DNA (94%) and 11 (61%) yielded heterozygous microsatellite genotypes at 21 locus. These methods have promise for genetic identification of individual predators.