Use of volatile organic components in scat to identify canid species

Journal of Wildlife Management
By: , and 



Identification of wildlife species from indirect evidence can be an important part of wildlife management, and conventional +methods can be expensive or have high error rates. We used chemical characterization of the volatile organic constituents (VOCs) in scat as a method to identify 5 species of North American canids from multiple individuals. We sampled vapors of scats in the headspace over a sample using solid-phase microextraction and determined VOC content using gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector. We used linear discriminant analysis to develop models for differentiating species with bootstrapping to estimate accuracy. Our method correcdy classified 82.4% (bootstrapped 95% CI = 68.8-93.8%) of scat samples. Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) scat was most frequendy misclassified (25.0% of scats misclassified); red fox was also the most common destination for misclassified samples. Our findings are the first reported identification of animal species using VOCs in vapor emissions from scat and suggest that identification of wildlife species may be plausible through chemical characterization of vapor emissions of scat.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Use of volatile organic components in scat to identify canid species
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
DOI 10.2193/2007-330
Volume 72
Issue 3
Year Published 2008
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Wildlife Management
First page 792
Last page 797
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details