What Droppings Can Tell Us

Leipzig. If you want to find out about the shy Eurasian otter, its droppings are a fascinating source of information. By isolating DNA from otter droppings – known as spraint – researchers can not only identify individual animals but also estimate the size of the population. But it’s important to know how to interpret the information correctly. A team led by Simone Lampa from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig reports on the benefits and drawbacks of the method in science journal PLoS ONE. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)