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


Date of this Version

January 2007


Published in Proceedings of the 12th Wildlife Damage Management Conference (D.L. Nolte, W.M. Arjo, D.H. Stalman, Eds). 2007.


Biomarkers are distinctive biological indicators used to identify, often through indirect means, when an event or physiologic process of interest has occurred in an animal. Historically, a variety of biomarkers, as well as bait-markers, have been used in wildlife management including radioactive isotopes, stable isotopes, fatty acids, systemic and physical biomarkers. The ability to successfully track, monitor, and identify animals using minimally invasive techniques is becoming increasingly important as wildlife-human interactions increase. This paper is an overview of the benefits and limitations of previously and presently used biomarkers in wildlife damage and disease management with emphasis on the use of rhodamine B as a physical biomarker as part of the USDA, Wildlife Services, Oral Rabies Vaccination Program.