Center for Wildlife Genetics | Services

Sample order

Type and scope of genetic analyses

The Senckenberg Center for Wildlife Genetics supports species conservation and wildlife monitoring by providing advanced molecular genetic methods. We carry out population genetic analyses for numerous protected Central European mammals (including beaver, bison, brown bear, European hamster, hazel dormouse, garden dormouse, lynx, red deer, otter, wildcat and wolf). Multiple genetic and genome-wide analysis methods are used to answer various questions relevant to species conservation. These include determination of genetic diversity, population size, population delimitation, species and population membership as well as the degree of hybridisation. We specialise in non-invasively collected and forensic environmental samples with low DNA content (e.g., eDNA, hair, faeces, urine, bones).

If you are interested, please contact us to plan a project or analysis. Please refer to the notes and FAQs. As a research institute, we can only accept samples from private individuals in exceptional cases where there is a research interest in the results.

Information on sample orders

Ordering and sample shipment

Please contact us by email or phone before sending samples.


Michelle Mueller (scientific project manager)
Telefon: +49 6051 61954-3138


Sample analyses can only be ordered via our online tool ( Uncommissioned samples cannot be processed. Please make sure that the details on the samples correspond to those in the order.

Sending samples

Please send the samples after ordering via the online tool to:

Zentrum für Wildtiergenetik
Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut, Standort Gelnhausen
Clamecystraße 12
D-63571 Gelnhausen

Information on sampling and preservation of sample material

Notes & FAQs

Date use

The Center for Wildlife Genetics is part of the Senckenberg – Leibniz Institution for Biodiversity and Earth System Research. According to § 2 of the statutes of the Senckenberg – Leibniz Institution for Biodiversity and Earth System Research, its mission is to conduct natural history research and to make the results of this research available to the general public through publication, through teaching and through its natural history museums. Therefore, we reserve the right to scientifically exploit data that we collect in connection with your samples in the form of lectures and publications. Exceptions to this rule are to be discussed in advance. By placing an order, you agree to the scientific use of data.

Scope of analysis

We receive over 4000 samples annually from about 100 different clients and cooperation partners. Of these, approx. 95% are non-invasively collected samples with critical DNA content, such as faeces or kill swabs. In order to achieve high success rates and well-validated results, each sample is treated carefully and individually. It is not uncommon for a case to be investigated with a single sample to represent a small research project of its own, in which different analytical methods are used, often commissioned one after the other. Population genetic analyses are also sometimes very complex and computationally expensive, especially when several hundred reference samples are included in the evaluations. Such analyses do not represent standardised routine examinations, such as those offered in disease diagnostics.

How reliable are my results?

The methods we use have been used for years by laboratories worldwide for species identification, hybridisation detection and population assignment. We have an extensive reference database of European wild animals, which contains >10,000 individual genotypes of wild cats, wolves and other wild animals and is continuously being expanded. This, together with our experience from more than 30,000 wild animal samples, guarantees a high reliability of the results. Nevertheless, it should be noted that on non-invasive or forensic sample material, mostly taken from the environment, uncertainties can arise with regard to the interpretation of the results and also deviations between examined replicates within the same or between different laboratories are possible. This is caused, among other things, by very small and heterogeneously distributed amounts of DNA in the samples or by contamination with foreign DNA and is normal for environmental samples.

Is the analysis of sent-in samples guaranteed?

As a reference center for genetic investigations of wolves and lynx, we guarantee the processing of wolf and lynx samples sent to us by the official authorities on the basis of the conditions mentioned above. Wolf and lynx samples from third parties, however, cannot be accepted for analysis. In this case, please contact the competent authorities in your federal state. The analysis of samples from other species is a voluntary offer and requires prior agreement. An order is then placed via our wildlife genetics database. This requires the creation of a password-protected user account.