Environmental DNA (eDNA)

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



© 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. The method is also being used to identify sites with alien American Bullfrogs.

Click on the links below to find out more! 

We have put together a little video to showcase the many different pond types sampled in the 2020 monitoring survey, click on the link below to view!


The 2013 Pilot Study on the Great Crested Newt was funded by the following organisations: