• BILAL HABIB

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Noninvasive DNA-based species and sex identification of Asiatic wild dog (Cuon alpinus)

      SHRUSHTI MODI SAMRAT MONDOL PALLAVI GHASKADBI ZEHIDUL HUSSAIN PARAG NIGAM BILAL HABIB

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      Asiatic wild dog (Cuon alpinus) or dhole is an endangered canid with fragmented distribution in South, East and Southeast Asia. The remaining populations of this species face severe conservation challenges from anthropogenic interventions, but only limited information is available at population and demography levels. Here, we describe the novel molecular approaches for unambiguous species and sex identification from noninvasively collected dhole samples. We successfully tested these assays on 130 field-collected dhole faecal samples from the Vidarbha part of central Indian tiger landscape that resulted in 97 and 77% successrates in species and sex identification, respectively. These accurate, fast and cheap molecular approaches prove the efficacy of such methods in gathering ecological data from this elusive, endangered canid and show their application in generating population level information from noninvasive samples.

    • Rapid molecular assays for species and sex identification of swamp deer and other coexisting cervids in human-dominated landscapes of the Terai region and upper Gangetic plains, northern India: implications in understanding species distribution and population parameters

      SHRUTARSHI PAUL TISTA GHOSH BIVASH PANDAV DHANANJAI MOHAN BILAL HABIB PARAG NIGAM SAMRAT MONDOL

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      Burgeoning pressures of habitat loss is a major cause of herbivore decline across India, forcing them to coexist with humans in non-protected areas. Their conservation in such landscapes is challenging due to paucity of ecological and demographic information. The northern subspecies of swamp deer, Rucervus duvaucelii duvaucelii, is one such herbivore that lives across human dominated landscapes in Terai region and upper Gangetic plains of north India. Here, we describe species-specific molecular markers and a cervid-specific molecular sexing assay for swamp deer and four other coexisting cervids sambar, chital, barking deer and hog deer. Our markers show species-specific band patterns and a high success rate of 88.21% in large number of field collected referencesamples for all species. Faecal pellets from pilot swamp deer survey samples from upper Ganges basin show 93.81% success rate, and only 5.5% misidentification based on morphological characteristics. Our cervid-specific molecular sexing multiplex assay accurately ascertained 81.15% samples to respective sexes. These molecular approaches provide an easy, quick and cheap option to generate critical information on herbivore population parameters and aid their conservation in this mosaic of protected and non-protected grassland habitats.

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