Non-invasive Diet Analysis of an Endangered Rodent Published

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Pacific Pocket Mouse. Credit Cheryl Brehme

A genetic analysis of scat from the Pacific Pocket Mouse (Perognathus longimembris pacificus) provided a better understanding of the diet of these tiny herbivores. USGS researchers Deborah Iwanowicz (LSC), Amy Vandergast (WERC), and Scott Cornman (FORT) used high-throughput "genetic barcoding" to reconstruct the diet of this scarce and nocturnal species. The research was performed in collaboration with scientists at the University of California, San Diego, and various U.S. Geological Survey science centers and was made possible by a genetic database of the regional flora assembled by the San Diego Natural History Museum. The results were published last week, November 16, 2016 in PLOSone, entitled "Metabarcoding of Fecal Samples to Determine Herbivore Diets: A Case Study of the Endangered Pacific Pocket Mouse."

For more information contact: 

Robert Cornman