snow leopard scrape with accompanying scat

Scrape with scat (in red circle)

Survey Methods: An Overview

Fecal or Scat Genotyping

This non-invasive survey technique is rapidly gaining ground as an efficient and cost-effective way to estimate numbers of cryptic or sparsely distributed carnivore species like the snow leopard. Biologists walk along the likely travel routes collecting scats known or suspected to have been deposited by snow leopards. These are then taken to a qualified laboratory, the mitochondrial DNA extracted, sequenced and interpreted.

For a discussion of genotyping in greater detail, see this page.

Advantages:
Disadvantages: