Genetic data from koala scats: method development and investigation of a unique population in South Gippsland

2018-01-04T01:46:49Z (GMT) by FAYE ELIZABETH WEDROWICZ
Koala populations are being impacted by threats including habitat loss, urban development, disease, dog attacks, road trauma and climatic events such as drought and bush fire. Due to a lack of genetic diversity, Victorian koalas are also vulnerable to future environmental change. This research developed molecular methods which used DNA isolated from koala scats to determine gender, unequivocally identify individuals and detect pathogens affecting koala health. Developed methods were used to investigate koalas in South Gippsland, Victoria, which were found to be genetically more diverse than other Victorian populations, warranting targeted conservation strategies.