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


Date of this Version

December 2004


Published by Journal of Mammalogy, 85(6):1145–1148, 2004.


Gender identification of sexually monomorphic mammals can be difficult. We used analysis of zinc-finger protein (Zfx and Zfy) DNA regions to determine gender of 96 beavers (Castor canadensis) from 3 areas and used these results to verify gender determined in the field. Gender was correctly determined for 86 (89.6%) beavers. Incorrect assignments were not attributed to errors in any one age or sex class. Although methods that can be used in the field (such as morphological methods) can provide reasonably accurate gender assignments in beavers, the genetic method might be preferred in certain situations.