Paige Minton-Edison,                    deer genotyper extraordinaire.
Kim Stone processing deer pellets.
Madison Corbin extracting DNA.

Columbian black-tailed deer are found in western Oregon, from the western side of the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Because of their secretive, nocturnal habits and the dense habitats that they prefer, they are extremely difficult to survey. Since 2012, the Epps Population Genetics Laboratory has worked in collaboration with ODFW to conduct noninvasive genetic capture-recapture studies in multiple management units across Oregon. To date, we have genotyped (commonly called “DNA-fingerprinting”) over 15,000 fecal samples, to identify the number of unique deer in surveyed areas. These data are assisting ODFW in constructing population estimates, in which in turn will help ODFW monitor benchmarks and set quotas for harvest.

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