Development of microsatellite markers for censusing of endangered rhinoceros

The Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is critically endangered, with fewer than 100 individuals surviving in Indonesia on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. To ensure survival of the threatened species, accurate censusing is necessary to determine the genetic diversity of remaining populations for conservation and management plans. A new study characterized 29 novel polymorphic microsatellite markers — repetitive DNA sequences — that serve as a reliable censusing method for wild Sumatran rhinos.