chXout Beaver Sexing – a one of a kind service to determine the sex of a beaver using DNA analysis.

Our beaver sexing service will provide you with accurate and fast results to aid monitoring, re-introductions and ex situ conservation breeding programmes. 

Beavers are monotypic in nature and lack obvious anatomical features for sex identification (except lactating females). Using traditional field methods can be difficult and timely, making sex determination of beavers challenging.

DNA testing for sex determination can improve the accuracy of sexing. DNA analysis for sex identification is also helpful when intact specimens are not available, trapping individuals is not feasible, or projects span large areas.

We use PCR based techniques to amplify selective regions of the X or Y chromosomes to determine gender with high accuracy. 


The Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) is native to the UK and used to be widespread across England, Wales and Scotland. They were hunted to extinction in the UK by the 16th century, for their fur, meat and castoreum which was used in perfumes, food and medicine.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species, categorises the Eurasian beaver as “Least Concern” due to the species’ recovery across Europe.

Over the past decade major efforts have been underway to reintroduce beavers into the British countryside. The Eurasian beaver is a legally protected species in Scotland and on 1 October 2022 they became a European Protected Species providing extra protection in England.

If current trends continue, there is hope that the Eurasian beaver will once again be a fairly common mammal in Europe.


  • To determine the gender of a beaver using DNA, we require a hair or fur sample.
  • Please ensure that gloves are worn during the sample collection to avoid cross contamination. If you use any tweezers, please ensure that these are sterilised.
  • To ensure that we receive the roots/follicles required to extract the DNA we require the hair to be plucked to ensure a greater chance of achieving a result.
  • Place your samples in labelled chXout sampling bags. If you have your own sampling materials this is not a problem as long as they a sterile, sealed and labelled with your sample ID, client reference number/name and date.
  • Post to our laboratory in The Durham Genome Centre.
Beaver DNA Test
  • Your sample(s) will be checked and logged in upon receipt ready to passed to the laboratory. If we note any anomalies we think you may need to be aware of prior to the start of processing we will contact you as to how you would like to proceed as soon as possible.