Metabarcoding for parallel identification of species, sex and diet of obligate scavengers: an application to globally-threatened Gyps vultures

Mousumi Ghosh-Harihar, Nehal Gurung, Harsh Shukla, Ishani Sinha, Awadhesh Pandit, Vibhu Prakash, Rhys E. Green & Uma Ramakrishnan
After suffering a massive decline (~99%) in numbers caused by feeding on livestock carcasses containing the nephrotoxic drug diclofenac, critically endangered Gyps vultures now persist in low numbers in the Indian subcontinent, mostly concentrated within or near National Parks. This spatial association might be attributed to availability of wild ungulate carcasses free from toxic veterinary drugs. Hence, quantification of vulture diets is critical to test this hypothesis. We describe a validated “field-to-benchtop-to-desktop” metabarcoding workflow for...
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