Date of Award
R. Dale Hembree
Bryan E. Brokaw
The feral cat population at Abilene Christian University is of primary concern to the community in terms of a wildlife management perspective. Due to the Trap-Neuter-Return program (TNR), initiated to maintain the cat colony, reduced genetic variability is highly probable. As a result, the suspected narrowed gene pool could create immunocompromised animals susceptible to certain diseases affecting the population. Some of these diseases could also have zoonotic implications for society. The effectiveness of TNR was assessed by comparing the DNA sequence obtained from the mitochondrial DNA control region between 17 cats of the feral population and 20 independently collected cats from Taylor Jones Humane Society, the Abilene Animal Shelter, and a handful of housecats. Blood samples of 1 mL were drawn from each cat. DNA was extracted from whole blood samples and amplified utilizing PCR techniques. Haplotype networks of the genetic material created a baseline for comparison of non-related cats to the colony on campus.
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Hankins, Kimery Lin, "Effect of the TNR Program on Genetic Diversity of the Feral Cat Population at Abilene Christian University" (2017). Honors College. 29.