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Searching for eDNA; what’s in a control?

Natural England’s March 2016 EPS mitigation licensing newsletter makes reference to great crested newt eDNA and degradation control but not everyone holds a degree in molecular biology. So what is the degradation control? And why is it important labs do this correctly when testing for newts? Degradation controls As specified in Appendix 2 of the…

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Waking up from a long sleep

great crested newts, newt, edna testing

Great crested newts go into a period of dormancy between October and March with the females laying around 250 eggs between March and July wrapping each egg in a folded leaf underwater. It is estimated that there are about 75,000 populations in the UK, with a continuing decline of less than 5% between 1994 and…

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Bringing innovation into the great crested newt world

great crested newt, edna testing

If you haven’t heard, eDNA testing is the latest, highly effective method for detecting the presence of great crested newts in ponds, which ultimately can save developers and ecologists precious time and money. Just taking some of the highlights from DEFRA’s detailed methodological studies, where newt occupancy was assessed on four occasions at 35 sites, newts…

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The great crest makes me different

Great crested newt adults are easily distinguished from the two other native newt species, the smooth and palmate newts, found in Britain today. The great crested newt is the UK’s largest newt, reaching a maximum adult overall length of about 170mm, although size varies between populations. Mature female length ranges from 90-170mm, typically reaching 110-130mm….

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Take the cat’s advice & don’t go in the water – Our top eDNA sampling tips

wet cat

When sampling for great crested newts, don’t step in the pond! You may have brought in eDNA on your wellies! Stepping in the water can also disturb sediment which may release historical great crested newt DNA. Instead if you are struggling to access deeper water areas, rather than stepping in the water attach your 30ml…

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