1 Tahrcountry Musings: Marco Polo Sheep is an international traveller

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Marco Polo Sheep is an international traveller

An analysis of DNA from fecal samples by researchers from WCS has come up with the finding that Marco Polo sheep in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan are genetically connected to sheep in neighboring Tajikistan and China, despite the difficult terrain.
The researchers involved are Dr Richard.B. Harris of the University of Montana, Dr John Winnie, Jr.of Montana State University, Dr Gordon Luikart, Stephen, Dr J. Amish, and Dr F.W. Allendorf of the University of Montana, and Dr Albano Beja-Pereira, VĂ¢nia Costa, and Dr Raquel Godinho of the Universidade do Porto
The research team collected fecal samples from 172 individual sheep from five different areas in Afghanistan, Tajikistan to arrive at their conclusions.
The research highlighted the fact that non-invasive methods of determining population trends and relatedness are extremely valuable in devising conservation strategy for animals that are elusive and difficult to track. It also highlighted the need for international cooperation between Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and China.

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