Chapter Index


Information from carcasses and other biological materials from the wild;
necropsy and sample collection methods for loris and potto conservation,

Compiler: Helga Schulze; coauthors (in alphabetical order): Colin Groves; Anna Nekaris; Kathrin Petry, Roland Plesker; Christian Roos, Heinz-Adolf Schoon, Ulrike Streicher. Other contributions: see references.

Carcasses of animals, faeces and other biological material found in the wild may be very useful for obtaining data about wild populations. The importance of information about diseases is self-understood. Carcasses of animals healthy when killed, such as road kills or victims of poachers, may provide valuable information about normal, healthy tissues (Wobeser, Spraker 1980). Besides, information and materials not related to diseases, but useful for other research may be obtained.

It can no longer be regarded as ethical to kill threatened wild animals for research or for obtaining specimens for collections. Carcasses found or confiscated may serve as a better source of material for reference collections. Therefore, before a necropsy is done, initial careful consideration will be necessary which parts have to be damaged or destroyed for detection of disease, and which should rather be preserved for some other purpose. Such parts may for instance be skins, skeletal material for taxonomic reference collections or the preserved alimentary tract together with its content for nutritional analysis, se also sampling recommendations for reference collections (one of us: A. Nekaris; see also Groves, 2002 in press)
The usefulness of collected data and specimens largely depends on adequate collection methods, recording, labelling and preservation. Different preservation methods are necessary, dependant on the kind of material and data needed. This chapter tries to provide all necessary information to get a maximum amount of information from carcasses and other materials, allowing better protection of populations and maybe their habitats.

In cases of possible epidemics or zoonoses, it will of course be necessary to consider all necessary measures and legal requirements to assure that no dangerous infectious agent is spread into other regions by collected items (one of us: K. Petry).

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In: Loris and potto conservation database: field methods 
Last amendment: 7 November 2002

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