NC State Researchers Create First Genetic Database of North Carolina Black Bears
Using a broad DNA profiling panel for American black bears, researchers from NC State’s College of Natural Resources and College of Veterinary Medicine have created the first genetic database for a subsample of North Carolina’s black bear population.
The database, which can be used to identify individual bears and localized groups, can help law enforcement and wildlife officials identify bears poached by hunters or involved in human-bear interactions reported to the state. Both uses are invaluable to officials in managing North Carolina’s black bears, which number over 20,000 statewide.
“Understanding the black bear population centers and how these populations are clustered on the landscape is an important benefit of UrsaPlex v2.0,” said Christopher DePerno, a professor of fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology in the College of Natural Resources, referring to the genetic identification panel used in the research. “There is also some real power in the forensics use.”