Genotyping - using allelic differences at 4 or more microsatellite loci - determine that each of the five scats was excreted by a different fox
Nothing has been stated to suggest that any of the five foxes are full-siblings
Based on the presence or absence of the testes-determining gene marker, three animals were male, one female and one currently remains indeterminate
The five scats genotyped & tested for gender were recovered during Tasmanian field surveys in 2008
Two male DNA-fox positive scats was recorded as from the Burnie locality; another male from Spreyton
The female DNA-fox positive scat was recorded as from Lower Barrington
The fifth indeterminate DNA-fox positive scat was recorded from Campbell Town
All these areas have been 1080-baited on more than one occasion
These new findings certainly up-the-stakes considerably for the Tasmanian Government. If it is the Government’s intention to maintain and fund the Fox Eradication Program with the large contingent of technical and field staff, it will need to enact statutory legislation to permit unrestricted access to all lands in Tasmania for the purposes of fox eradication.
Dr David Obendorf
Genotyping analysis of the fox scats recorded from Tasmania … 5 of 25 DNA-fox positive scats recorded as from Tasmania gave gender and/or genotype results; the other 20 of 25 scats did not produce sufficient genomic sequences to identify them genotypically as individual animals.