• faeces;
  • DNA;
  • Ursids;
  • field;
  • preservation;
  • contamination;
  • PCR

We describe methods for the preservation, extraction and amplification of DNA from faeces that facilitate field applications of faecal DNA technology. Mitochondrial, protein encoding and microsatellite nuclear DNA extracted and amplified from faeces of Malayan sun bears and North American black bears is shown to be identical to that extracted and amplified from the same individual's tissue or blood. A simple drying agent, silica beads, is shown to be a particularly effective preservative, allowing easy and safe transport of samples from the field. Methods are also developed to eliminate the risk of faecal DNA contamination from hair present in faeces.