Environmental DNA (eDNA)

Finding Great Crested Newts and other aquatic animals lurking in the depths has just got much easier.


If you are looking to read about eDNA surveys for PondNet in 2015, 2016 & 2017, please click here!

eDNA survey training for consultants 2018, please click here!


© Piet Spaans (CC BY-SA 2.5 – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/)

About eDNA?

Environmental DNA (eDNA for short) is DNA that’s released into the water by plants and animals in a host of ways: from their skin, faeces, mucous, hair, eggs and sperm, or when they die. It is now possible to monitor the freshwater species that live in ponds, streams and other waterbodies simply by collecting a water sample, and analysing it for traces of DNA.

Freshwater Habitats Trust was involved in the first large scale application of this exciting new technique – investigating its potential to survey ponds for Great Crested Newts across England and Wales in 2013.  With the help of many wonderful volunteers we’ve now gone on to collect the first national data set as part of PondNet 2015, please click here for the survey results! The method is also being used to identify sites with alien American Bullfrogs.

The2013 work on the Great Crested Newt was funded by Defra, Natural England, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Scottish Natural Heritage, and undertaken by Freshwater Habitats Trust with French genetics specialists SPYGENAmphibian and Reptile Conservation and the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent.

Read about the 2013 project, the results and how you can get surveys undertaken.

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