A combined immunomagnetic separation (IMS) and flow cytometry (FC) technique was developed for the sensitive detection of Cryptosporidium in faecal samples. The IMS/FC technique was found to be approximately 50-fold more sensitive than formol-ether concentration, which is commonly used for Cryptosporidium epidemiological investigations. Of 31 faecal samples from captive animals 16 were found to contain Cryptosporidium oocysts when analysed using the IMS/FC compared to four when using formol-ether concentration (FEC). In a wild population of eastern grey kangaroos Macropus giganteus 66.3% of infected animals were shedding <500oocysts/gfaeces when analysed using IMS/FC. This is below the detection limit for the FEC method. The dispersal of Cryptosporidium in host populations is aggregated, with many individuals shedding low numbers of oocysts and few individuals shedding numbers of oocysts sufficiently high to be detected by FEC. This research demonstrates that the prevalence and oocyst shedding intensity of Cryptosporidium in animal populations will be significantly underestimated using standard detection methods.