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Identifying priority giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) populations for conservation in São Paulo State, Brazil


Sartori, Ricardo et al. (2021), Identifying priority giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) populations for conservation in São Paulo State, Brazil, Dryad, Dataset,


Habitat loss is the main threat to biodiversity conservation worldwide. Some species may be particularly susceptible to the effects of fragmentation and the isolation of populations. The impacts of human activity on wild animal populations may be understood through relationships between individual genetic data and spatial landscape variables, particularly when considering local population dynamics influenced by fragmented habitats. Thus, the objective of this study was to analyze the population structure and genetic diversity of the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) using an individual sampling scheme (ISS) on a regional geographic scale. Data were collected from 41 specimens from twenty different locations in São Paulo State, Brazil, and six polymorphic microsatellite loci were genotyped. Our results indicate that barriers to gene flow exist and have segregated individuals of the farther away areas into two spatially structured clusters. The populations were also found to have high genetic diversity. The experimental sampling approach used herein enabled an analysis of the population dynamics of the giant anteater on a regional scale, as well as the identification of priority populations for genetic resource conservation for this species. The results reflect the need for adequate management plans. The efficacy of the sampling scheme may vary based on the study model used, but we argue that the use of an ISS combined with suitable molecular markers and statistical methods may serve as an important tool for initial analyses of threatened or vulnerable species, particularly in anthropized regions where species populations are small or hard to characterize.


Six microsatellite fragments were used to analyze 41 individuals of Myrmecophaga tridactyla by capillary electrophoresis in São Paulo State, Brazil.

Detailed information about the individuals is described in Table 1 (.pdf) containing the identification number, location of the capture, sex, occurrence, and geographic coordinates of each individual.

Additional information:

Capillary electrophoresis was performed on the 3500 Genetic Analyzer sequencer, and the Dye Set DS 33 - GeneScan 500 Liz was used for the combination of primers marked with 6-FAM, VIC, NED and PET and as a molecular weight marker, compatible with GeneScan 500 Liz (Applied Biosystems).

The reactions of the six microsatellite markers were organized into two groups, based on the expected fragment sizes:

The first group (Pool A) corresponds to the MrtiUSP04 (158bp), MtriUSP07 initiators (274 bp), MtriUSP11 (174 bp) marked with 6-FAM fluorophores respectively, PET and VIC, on the M13 tail.

In the second group (Pool B) are MtriUSP 13 (223 bp), MtriUSP 17 (191 bp), and MtriUSP20 (157 bp) marked respectively by fluorescent M13 tail, also with 6-FAM, PET, and VIC fluorophores.

All deposited genotype files are raw data files (.fsa).

The genotype files (.fsa) are named with the individual identification number (as described in Table 1), and the corresponding pool of markers (as described herein in additional information).

Usage Notes

The results are reproducible, by using the information/files deposited herein and applying the methods/settings described in the manuscript.

All pieces of information are on section "Methods".


Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Award: 2013/18526-9

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Award: 2014/05302-8

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Award: 2016/13023-7

Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior