Brave new world of eDNA

Time and money spent on GCN surveys can be greatly reduced through eDNA sequencing by reducing the requirement for multi-visit surveys using conventional techniques on ponds where eDNA indicates absence.

Thomson Ecology’s trained and licensed surveyors collect samples from ponds following the approved methodology and our partner laboratory processes the samples using state of the art equipment, to provide rapid results.

Our in house amphibian specialist says “The new eDNA technique provides a rapid and cost effective methodology for GCN survey because ponds where GCN are absent can be ruled out following a 30 minute visit. Previously we would have had to visit each pond four times in the morning and four times after dark using at least three conventional techniques to establish absence. Now we only need to use the conventional survey techniques to establish population size on ponds where GCN are confirmed present. Should GCN be present we have considerable experience in the preparation of NE licence applications for this species and can advise on pragmatic mitigation solutions”.

Following the publication by Defra of an investigation into the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect the presence of the great crested newt (GCN) and a technical advice note setting out the field and laboratory methodology, Natural England (NE) have accepted the use of this new technique as evidence of presence or absence for this protected species.

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