Technology has advanced to the point where we can now get enough genetic material from a foot, or paw print to identify them. Identification can be made for up to 5 months after the track was made.
Genomics has made huge advancements that will affect many aspects of our society. Not only can this technology benefit law enforcement, Wildlife Biologists and Managers can use this technology to address wildlife populations.
This environmental, EDNA, technique is also able to find fish evidence in water samples. Every critter has nearly 200 strands of mitochondrial DNA inside. Research teams only need one strand to identify a species on land, snow, or in water.
The test cannot identify a specific individual or sex yet. For that they need several hair follicles or other DNA evidence. Accurate identification can be difficult for similar animals. For example, Lynx and Bobcats are almost identical but there are 1000 Bobcats for every Lynx found in Montana.
Technology like this will make future research more accurate and efficient.
For more Montana Grant, track him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.