The detection of great crested newts year round via environmental DNA analysis

Rees, Helen C., Baker, Claire A., Gardner, David S., Maddison, Ben C. and Gough, Kevin C. (2017) The detection of great crested newts year round via environmental DNA analysis. BMC Research Notes, 10 (1). 327/1-327/4. ISSN 1756-0500

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Analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA) is a method that has been used for the detection of various species within water bodies. The great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) has a short eDNA survey season (mid-April to June). Here we investigate whether this season could be extended into other months using the current methodology as stipulated by Natural England.


Here we present data to show that in monthly water samples taken from two ponds (March 2014–February 2015) we were able to detect great crested newt DNA in all months in at least one of the ponds. Similar levels of great crested newt eDNA (i.e. highly positive identification) were detected through the months of March–August, suggesting it may be possible to extend the current survey window. In order to determine how applicable these observations are for ponds throughout the rest of the UK, further work in multiple other ponds over multiple seasons is suggested. Nevertheless, the current work clearly demonstrates, in two ponds, the efficacy and reproducibility of eDNA detection for determining the presence of great crested newts.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Environmental DNA (eDNA); Great crested newts; Pond; Sampling season; Survey
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
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Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 11:59
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 18:57

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