DNA analyses of large pangolin scale seizures: Species identification validation and case studies

Ewart, Kyle M. and Lightson, Amanda L. and Sitam, Frankie T. and Rovie-Ryan, Jeffrine J. and Nguyen, Son G. and Morgan, Kelly I. and Luczon, Adrian and Anadon, Edwin Miguel S. and De Bruyn, Marli and Bourgeois, Stéphanie and Ouitavon, Kanita and Kotze, Antoinette and Mohd Soffian, A. Bakar and Salgado-Lynn, Milena and McEwing, Ross (2021) DNA analyses of large pangolin scale seizures: Species identification validation and case studies. Forensic Science International: Animals and Environments, 1 (2021). pp. 1-9. ISSN 2666-9374

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Pangolins are the mosttrafficked mammal in theworld, and all eightspecies are listed under CITESAppendix I.DNAbased wildlife forensic techniques are recognized as an important component of investigating a pangolin seizure. In particular, determining the species of pangolin in a seizure will 1) confirm the presence of pangolin to establish the legality of any trade, and 2) ensure appropriate laws are applied to theirfullest extentin a prosecution. Furthermore, valuable intelligence data, such as determining the geographic provenance of samples, can be produced through analysis of pangolin seizures. Despite the immense scale of the pangolin trade, standardized wildlife forensic techniquesfortesting pangolin seizures are in theirinfancy. To addressthis, here, we present a standardized genetic marker suitable for species identification of all eight pangolin species, and outline practical strategies for sampling large-volume pangolin scale seizures. We assessed the repeatability, reproducibility, robustness, sensitivity and phylogenetic resolution of this species identification test. Critically, the assay was tested in four wildlife forensic laboratories involved in testing pangolins. Additionally, we demonstrated the test’s utility to conduct geographic provenance analysis of Phataginus tricuspis samples. We analysed five large-volume pangolin scale seizures in Malaysia, which elucidated key targetspecies, poaching hotspots, and trafficking routes. Phataginustricuspis wasthe most commonly identified species(88.8%)from the seizure samples, and 84.3% of these P. tricuspisindividuals were likely sourced from western central Africa. We expect the imp

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cytochrome b Pangolin seizures Species identification Standardization Wildlife forensic science, UNIMAS, University, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, IPTA, education, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Resource Science and Technology
Faculties, Institutes, Centres > Faculty of Resource Science and Technology
Depositing User: Sanawi
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2021 06:30
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2021 06:32
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/35940

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