Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arizona
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Arizona Project

Genome Approach for Noninvasive Diet Assessment of Mule Deer from Scat

January 2013 - December 2017


Participating Agencies

  • Arizona Game & Fish Dept.

Goal: Use next-gen sequencing on scat samples collected from mule deer for a high-resolution diet assessment. Very little in known about the precise diet components for mule deer. In this study scat samples are collected seasonally to sample both the winter and summer range. Also collected over 2 years to have sampling in different years to test variation by year. Next-generation sequencing will be performed using primers specific for plants to determine all the plant species consumed by mule deer, seasonally (spatially), temporally, and in different years. If possible, diet variation among individuals will also be examined.