Great Crested Newt

eDNA Testing Service

We are pleased to announce that chXout® scored a perfect score in the annual FAPAS Great Crested Newt eDNA proficiency testing scheme in 2022!


Great Crested Newt eDNA analysis is a highly effective method for determining Great Crested Newt (GCN, Triturus crisatus) presence or absence during the breeding season. Our standardised kit is prepared in line with Natural England protocols (Biggs et al, 2014). 

eDNA analysis makes Great Crested Newt detection and monitoring quick, simple and cost effective

It is important to note that samples should be collected between 15 April and 30 Juneby a licenced surveyor, to be accepted by Natural England for planning applications or licensing purposes.

What is eDNA?

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is nuclear or mitochondrial DNA collected from an environmental sample. This can be from water, soil, faeces or even the air! The eDNA is released from the organism into the environment as it interacts with it. This means that a sample can be taken without taking it directly from the organism itself.

eDNA analysis is a powerful tool for surveying aquatic vertebrate communities without disturbing, capturing or physically identifying them. It has been developed as a quick and accurate alternative to traditional surveying methods. 

Why choose eDNA analysis?

  • Great Crested Newts are a protected Species. The animals, their eggs, breeding sites and resting places are protected by law. eDNA analysis is non-invasive, providing minimal disturbance with one visit to the pond.
  • In the event of suspicion of GCN in areas targeted with infrastructure, delays may be faced while traditional surveys are taking place. In this instance, eDNA testing can be used in addition to traditional survey methods by providing the initial prompt indication of GCN presence.
  • eDNA Analysis is also ideal for ecological impact assessments and evaluation of conservation measures.
  • It can provide an early indication for development project budgeting and timescales.
  • During a study carried out to determine the value of eDNA as survey technique, eDNA was found to have a 99.3% detection rate. Comparatively, more traditional survey methods such as bottle traps and torch counts detected newts between 44% and 76% of the time (Biggs et al, 2015).

Why choose chXout®?

  • Reliability – we take part in the annual FAPAS GCN eDNA proficiency testing scheme for which we achieved a perfect score of 100% in 2022. This scheme is in place to ensure that laboratories are providing a good quality service.
  • We follow Natural England approved protocol Technical Advice Note WC1067 (2014).
  • If you are local to County Durham you are more than welcome to drop your kits off in person to us at The Durham Genome Centre for your peace of mind.

Great Crested Newt eDNA Pricing

If you would like to discuss your GCN eDNA requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us for further information. Orders can be placed via our online shop by selecting one of the options above.

Forms & Useful Information

Citation: Biggs J, Ewald N, Valentini A, Gaboriaud C, Griffiths RA, Foster J, Wilkinson J, Arnett A, Williams P and Dunn F 2014. Analytical and methodological development for improved surveillance of the Great Crested Newt. Appendix 5. Technical advice note for field and laboratory sampling of great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) environmental DNA. Freshwater Habitats Trust, Oxford.