PhD Student, University of Florida
Location: Veun Sai - Siem Pang Conseravtion Area and Virachey National Park, Cambodia
Research: Using mammalian DNA from leeches to assess animal abundances and conservation priorities
Species/Topic: Tiger, Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Forest Diversity
Abstract: Assessing the abundance of animals in dense tropical forests can be extremely costly and difficult. Here, we propose a pilot study to determine the efficacy of using the mammalian blood found in terrestrial leeches as a means to sample populations. Our plan is to sequence mammalian DNA from previously collected leeches from Northern Cambodia. This proposed study is a preliminary study to set the groundwork for a future large-scale project assessing the mammalian populations within a large remote national park. We hope to use the data to quantify the potential for the area as a tiger recovery zone and a conservation priority for the region.