article publicada [Mamíferos marinos]
KRAFT S, F RODRÍGUEZ, C OLAVARRÍA, E POULIN & MJ PÉREZ-ÁLVAREZ (2023) Genetic Analysis as a Tool to Improve the Monitoring of Stranded Cetaceans in Chile. Biology 12(5): 748 doi: 10.3390/biology12050748.https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12050748
Cetacean strandings are a valuable source of information for several studies from species richness to conservation and management. During the examination of strandings, taxonomic and sex identification might be hindered for several reasons. Molecular techniques are valuable tools to obtain that missing information. This study evaluates how gene fragment amplification protocols can support the records of strandings done in the field in Chile by identifying, corroborating, or correcting the identification of the species and sex of the recorded individuals. Through a collaboration between a scientific laboratory and government institution in Chile, 63 samples were analyzed. Thirty-nine samples were successfully identified to the species level. In total, 17 species of six families were detected, including six species of conservation interest. Of the 39 samples, 29 corresponded to corroborations of field identifications. Seven corresponded to unidentified samples and three to corrected misidentifications, adding up to 28% of the identified samples. Sex was successfully identified for 58 of the 63 individuals. Twenty were corroborations, 34 were previously unidentified, and four were corrections. Applying this method improves the stranding database of Chile and provides new data for future management and conservation tasks.