We are approaching the end of another busy great crested newt (GCN) survey season. Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis has proved a useful early season tool to indicate the likely presence/ absence of GCN within ponds, informing the need for further population estimate surveys to be carried out.
Monitoring levels of eDNA is now established as an accurate and rapid method for detecting presence/ absence of GCN, which is approved by Natural England. Water samples can be taken by licenced and trained surveyors from mid-April to the end of June, and fast track analysis can provide results within two to three working days. In many instances, the technique offers a cheaper alternative to conventional surveys.
Whilst it’s now too late to start further conventional surveys, we still have a month to take eDNA samples to assess presence/absence. Effectively this provides a useful extension to the survey window, so act now to book any last minute surveys you may need!