eDNA testing for great crested newts – until 30th June!
Seasons Ecology are pleased to announce that we are able to offer eDNA (environmental DNA) testing as a method of surveying for great crested newts (GCNs). Following Natural England’s announcement last year stating that eDNA is a valid method of confirming presence/absence of GCNs we are adding it to our array of survey techniques.
Extends the presence/absence survey season to 30th June
eDNA is nuclear or mitochondrial DNA, which is shed from organisms into their environment, for example via skin, faeces, mucus, hair, gametes and carcases. eDNA can be detected in carefully collected water samples taken from ponds durning a single site visit and sent to the laboratory where quantitative PCR is used to identify the species present. This method can be used from 15th April to 30th June each year, but outside of this season the method is suspected to be inaccurate. The test results in a present/absent result and cannot be used for population assessment. If eDNA confirms presence, traditional presence/absence and population surveys are likely to be required in many instances in addition, however if absence is concluded this method is less labour intensive and can save time and costs.
Can save time and cost
We believe that this will be a really useful tool to add to our armoury, and when used selectively at the right sites we hope it will save our clients time and money!
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