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Diet analysis

Using a latest technology, we are developing methodology to study the diet of wild cranes.

With some species of wild animals, it is possible to determine the diet by examining the DNA of food items that is extracted from scats of the species of interest. We are applying this technology.

The impetus
It is very difficult to determine what wild cranes are eating in the field.

The first step
We tested whether we could detect the DNA of specific food items in scats of cranes by feeding captive cranes one food item at a time and analyzing the DNA extracted from the scat.
This step was completed in 2015.


The second step
Currently, we are collecting potential food items of wild cranes and building a library of DNA sequences of plants and animals in the cranes‘ foraging habitat.

In the near future
We hope to be able to determine the changes in the diet of wild cranes between different places, between seasons, and over longer periods of time.


Red-crowned Crane ConservancyRed-crowned Crane Conservancy


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