DNA analysis for species identification

In collaboration with the Waterford Institute of Technology, we are pleased to offer a rapid and reliable service to identify protected wildlife species through DNA analysis. Most British mammals, including all bat species, can be identified through the analysis of droppings and other material. DNA identification of owls using pellets is also available. We are currently the only DNA analysis service to use targeted qPCR analyses to identify all UK bat species. This is not only quicker, more sensitive, and more precise than traditional sequencing methods, but is less prone to error. The technique also enables identification of multiple species within one sample.

Bat dropping analysis can be particularly useful for winter bat surveys of buildings and for separating the Myotis and Plecotus species. One dropping is often all that is needed, provided there is enough genetic material in the sample. Other particularly useful applications have been the testing of possible dormouse droppings found within nest tubes; separation of grey and red squirrels; and the identification of pine marten scats - notoriously difficult to distinguish from fox scats even by experts.

The standard price is £50 plus VAT per sample plus carriage, but discounts are available for multiple samples and for non-commercial work (e.g. bat groups, scientific research). Additional charges apply for mixed species samples and express service; the express service may not be available at certain times e.g. during particularly busy periods.

Express service is currently AVAILABLE

Please note that samples may no longer be sent using Royal Mail. We have arranged a courier service via UPS.

For full details including all prices please see our FAQs.

Download a DNA sample submission form (last updated 28-03-18 )
and full instructions.

General guidance & terms and conditions

For any further DNA questions please use the dedicated DNA email address or call Lisa on 01299 890261

Please note that unfortunately we do not offer a service for eDNA testing for great crested newts.


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