Reasons for taking samples
Checklist of samples to be collected from sedated animals (link to pdf) click
- For genetic studies (see ‘Conservation Genetics of Wild Dogs in South Africa’)
- To check for disease
- For analysis of blood-borne parasites
Despite mixed success, biopsy darts have become a routine ‘tool of the trade’ in field biology. They enable the collection of tissue samples without having to sedate the animal. Unlike normal darts, biopsy darts have a fine stainless steel needle that takes a small piece of tissue and skin from the target and then ‘bounces’ back out to be collected. A normal dart gun is used to fire biopsy darts.