The Anthropocene is an era of marked human impact on the world. Quantifying these impacts 51 has become central to understanding the dynamics of coupled human-natural systems, resource52 dependent livelihoods, and biodiversity conservation. Ecologists are facing growing pressure to 53 quantify the size, distribution, and trajectory of wild populations in a cost-effective and socially54 acceptable manner. Genetic tagging, combined with modern computational and genetic analyses, 55 is an under-utilized tool to meet this demand, especially for wide-ranging, elusive, sensitive, and 56 low-density species. Genetic tagging studies are now revealing unprecedented insight into the 57 mechanisms that control the density, trajectory, connectivity and human-wildlife conflict for 58 populations over vast spatial scales. Here we outline the application of, and ecological inferences 59 from, new analytical techniques applied to genetically-tagged individuals, contrast this approach 60 with conventional methods, and describe how genetic tagging can be better applied to address 61 outstanding questions in ecology. We provide example analyses using a long-term genetic 62 tagging dataset of grizzly bears in the Canadian Rockies. The genetic tagging toolbox is a 63 powerful and overlooked ensemble that ecologists and conservation biologists can leverage to 64 generate evidence and meet the challenges of the Anthropocene.