Bats genetically identified thanks to their droppings
Sunday, 19 April 2015
The INBO (Instituut voor Natuur-en Bosonderzoek) has perfected a technique to identify all bat species present in Belgium, using their droppings. This initiative has allowed them to develop a DNA coding protocol for these species. “The observation and monitoring of bats requires intensive work, mostly done at night. We use detectors, nets, and visit areas where the animals are living, explain David Halfmaerten, Sabrina Neyrinck, and Joachim Mergeay (INBP) in their annual report.
“It is difficult to class droppings by species; we have to use molecular techniques that identify DNA. The DNA coding, that determines the exact order of each letter in the genetic code, lets us distinguish between species”.
The INBO has perfected a specific DNA coding protocol that allows them to identify each species of bat found in Belgium, using DNA from their droppings.
Researchers will use this technique to create a quick overview of the bat population in Belgium.