Animal droppings (also called faeces, pellets or scats) are one of the most commonly found signs of pest animals.
Things to consider:
- Location: habitat (e.g. grassland) and site (e.g. up a tree, near a fence line)
- Form: separate or clumped? round pellets? tubular? tapered or rounded ends?
- Size: length and width?
- Colour and smell
- Texture: smooth, fibrous?
- Traces in droppings that might indicate diet or grooming habits: e.g. recognisable traces of fur, feather, plant fibre, seeds, bone, egg shell, insects?
- Clumped or separate? Clumped droppings are where the droppings coalesce (come together) to form a ‘clumped’ mass. The individual pellets or scats will be clearly stuck together. Separate droppings are where the pellets are clearly quite self-contained and not stuck together, and include piles of droppings where the pellets or scats are simply deposited on top of one another but are not adhered to each other.
Remember appearance can vary, depending on an animal’s diet or the age of the dropping. After searching the clues here, you could also look at the Nature Watch 'Who's poo?' project.
Be safe: faeces can carry dirt and disease – ensure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling droppings.
Narrow your search to specific types of Droppings: