Wildlife Professor Provides Genetic Analysis Expertise to Conserve Nepal’s Tigers

Monday, July 25 2011

Lisette Waits, professor of wildlife resources, is involved in a new study conducted by the Nepal Tiger Genome Project to pinpoint the exact population size and range of wild Bengal tigers and combat poaching. This fall, Waits will host two Nepalese scientists and travel to Nepal to provide training to "fingerprint" Nepal’s big cats. This approach marks a switchover to hi-tech DNA profiling from the current tiger censuses conducted the old-fashioned way by using cameras and assessing pugmarks.

The two-year study, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, will be conducted by Kathmandu-based Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN) in collaboration with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and Virginia Tech University.