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Data from: Investigating cat predation as the cause of bat wing tears using forensic DNA analysis

Citation

Shaw, Kirsty et al. (2021), Data from: Investigating cat predation as the cause of bat wing tears using forensic DNA analysis, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.zcrjdfn88

Abstract

Cat predation upon bat species has been reported to have significant effects on bat populations in both rural and urban areas. The majority of research in this area has focussed on observational data from bat rehabilitators documenting injuries, and cat owners, when domestic cats present prey. However, this has the potential to underestimate the number of bats killed or injured by cats. Here, we use forensic DNA analysis techniques to analyse swabs taken from injured bats in the United Kingdom, mainly including Pipistrellus pipistrellus (40 out of 72 specimens). Using quantitative PCR, cat DNA was found in two-thirds of samples submitted by bat rehabilitators. Of these samples, short tandem repeat analysis produced partial DNA profiles for approximately one-third of samples, which could be used to link predation events to individual cats. The use of genetic analysis can complement observational data, and potentially provide additional information to give a more accurate estimation of cat predation.      

Methods

Bat wing swabs samples were subject to DNA extraction, followed by either qPCR or PCR and capillary electrophoresis for cat specific DNA markers. 

Funding

Saudi Arabia Cultural Bureau in London, Award: PhD Studentship