The traditional method of sex identification in beavers (Castor canadensis) by external palpation can be inaccurate. We tested 2 genetic methods for determining sex in beavers, the zinc-finger DNA marker and the Y chromosome–specific sex determining region (SRY) marker. The SRY marker identified sex correctly in 57 of 67 (85%) beavers, whereas the zinc-finger technique was successful less often in only 48 of 67 (72%) animals. Sex was correctly assigned by palpation for 21 of 27 beavers (78%). Beaver studies in which accurate sex identification is critical may benefit by verifying the sex of individuals using one or both of these molecular markers.
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Vol. 72 • No. 8