Macro-characterisation of wildlife species dung at Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre, Entebbe, Uganda.
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The use of coprolite brings out biological and ecological data such as species presence, diet, behavior, territory, parasitic fauna, and home-range use, which can be applied for conservation projects and support ecological research. Although new biotechnological techniques allow for more accurate data, morphometric analyses allow for the primary identification of the taxonomic group origin to support the best choice of subsequent analysis. The goal of this study was to characterise at the macro level the dung of reptiles and mammals at UWEC in order to aid in the identification of free-roaming wildlife species using their droppings. A total of 52 samples of animal droppings were collected from the holdings during routine cleaning of the holdings over the course of one week. The animals were divided into three dietary groups, which included herbivorous, carnivorous, and omnivorous animals. The length or diameter, shape, color, and content of the dropping were determined and recorded in tabular form, and clear pictures of the animal species and their fecal matter were taken. Categories of animals based on feeding behaviour included herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores, and variations existed in the dung characteristics, with the rhino and elephant producing the largest in terms of length and diameter, respectively, and the bush duiker and impala producing the smallest in terms of length and diameter.