Buccal and cloacal swabs have been used for genetic sampling for a variety of reptiles but not for marine turtles to date. We evaluated whether this method offers a simple and quick way to sample cells from live marine turtles in the wild when it is not feasible to obtain blood or skin. Good-quality DNA was obtained for genetic analyses from both buccal and cloacal swabs. Although we recommend blood and skin sampling whenever possible to collect the highest quality DNA, buccal and cloacal swabs do represent a useful alternative for genetic sampling when these preferred methods are not feasible.

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