Species from faeces

Our species from faeces service provides two types of analysis. Firstly, we are able to identify single species from the faeces they leave behind. Secondly, we are able to characterise the faeces for the bacteria and fungi present (the “microbiome”). It is also possible to assess the (digested) species eaten by an organism from its’ faeces.

Our species from faeces service can be used to identify bats, birds and mammals from their droppings. By extracting DNA from faeces we can identify the species who left it behind. This is of use to ecologists, conservationists and volunteers to identify, for example, bat species from droppings in roosts, distinguishing between species of bird, fox, pine marten and many other mammals.

Our DNA identifications are more accurate than morphology alone as some droppings are very difficult to distinguish morphologically. Collecting samples for DNA analysis can be more cost-effective than time-consuming field studies, especially when it comes to studying elusive or difficult-to-identify species.

We can identify almost any species from their droppings so get in touch today to find out how we can help your project.

Using advanced next-generation DNA sequencing technologies we can carry out microbiome analyses of faecal samples, which gives you the bacterial and fungal composition. These can be used to compare the gut microbial populations over time.

It is also possible to assess the diet of an organism from its faeces. We can assess both the invertebrate and mammalian content of faeces, which can be useful in identifying the prey eaten by an organism. This has been successfully used to determine the diet of bats and birds, amongst others.

Additional services: mixed samples, comparisons and publications

Our identification service can also provide testing for samples with multiple species and, with our applied bioinformatics expertise, we can also provide an in-depth comparison of different samples to provide context to your results. We can also help and advise if you wish to publish the results of the analysis.