Professor Lisette Waits' Genetic Analysis Expertise Helps Newfoundland's Government Stabilize Caribou Population

Friday, June 24 2011

Professor Lisette Waits, conservation biology professor in the College of Natural Resources and Matthew Mumma, wildlife doctoral candidate, recently were highlighted in “Safari Times” in an article entitled, “Using Genetic Techniques to Inform Wildlife Management Decisions in Newfoundland, Canada.”

The Safari Club International Foundation contracted with the University of Idaho’s Laboratory for Conservation and Ecological Genetics to determine caribou predator population densities and the predator species responsible for caribou calf kills.

Waits and Mumma will use barbed-wire hair snares, a low impact method of collecting samples that can used for genetic analysis and population density estimation, to collect and analyze predator hair. They also will use scat-detecting dogs to locate predator scat samples for DNA analysis. This research will assist the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in setting predator harvest limits and determining ways to stabilize caribou populations.