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An evidence review for great crested newt eDNA monitoring protocols (NECR476)

DNA based applications have the potential to significantly change how we monitor and assess biodiversity. Triturus cristatus or great crested newt (GCN), is an example of a fairly cryptic pond species, with a relatively low detection rate using traditional methods of sampling, which are resource intensive. A project was carried out in 2013/14 to establish the performance of environmental DNA techniques for determination of the presence of GCN in a wide variety of pond habitats across the United Kingdom. As part of this project a technical advice note was developed which contained the eDNA field and laboratory methods to be used for the detection of GCN using eDNA for use from the 2014 GCN season onwards. This advice note (WC1067 Appendix 5) is available on the project’s Science Search page. Now with the experience of 9 year’s worth of GCN surveillance by eDNA Natural England wished to review the available evidence to compare the effectiveness of ethanol precipitation and filtration eDNA capture methods for GCN and to evaluate the field and laboratory protocols within the technical advice note for recommendations and any changes in the current protocols that could be made in light of more recent technological developments and whether any of the proposed changes would result in any cost-benefit. Following a review of the finding it was decided that more evidence was required to make any changes, and that this would be gathered to review the decision in the future.

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NECR476 Edition 1 An evidence review for great crested newt eDNA monitoring protocols, PDF, 1.5 MB 2023/05/18