Integrating early detection with DNA barcoding: species identification of a non-native monitor lizard (Squamata: Varanidae) carcass in Mississippi, U.S.A.

Management of Biological Invasions
By: , and 

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Abstract

Early detection of invasive species is critical to increasing the probability of successful management. At the primary stage of an invasion, invasive species are easier to control as the population is likely represented by just a few individuals. Detection of these first few individuals can be challenging, particularly if they are cryptic or otherwise characterized by low detectability. The engagement of members of the public may be critical to early detection as there are far more citizen s on the landscape than trained biologists. However, it can be difficult to assess the credibility of public reporting, especially when a diagnostic digital image or a physical specimen in good condition are lacking. DNA barcoding can be used for verification when morphological identification of a specimen is not possible or uncertain (i.e., degraded or partial specimen). DNA barcoding relies on obtaining a DNA sequence from a relatively small fragment of mitochondrial DNA and comparing it to a database of sequences containing a variety of expertly identified species. He rein we report the successful identification of a degraded specimen of a non-native, potentially invasive reptile species (Varanus niloticus) via DNA barcoding, after discovery and reporting by a member of the public.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Integrating early detection with DNA barcoding: species identification of a non-native monitor lizard (Squamata: Varanidae) carcass in Mississippi, U.S.A.
Series title Management of Biological Invasions
DOI 10.3391/mbi.2016.7.2.07
Volume 7
Issue 2
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Regional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre (REABIC)
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 5 p.
First page 193
Last page 197
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Jackson County