We aim to launch this service January 2020!
DNA Testing For Great Crested Newts
DNA analysis is a highly effective method for determining great crested newt presence or absence during the breeding season. Our standardised kit makes Great Crested Newt detection and monitoring simple, quick and cost effective.
Why DNA Testing?
eDNA is a powerful tool for surveying aquatic vertebrate communities without disturbing, capturing of physically identifying them. It has been developed as a quick and accurate alternative to traditional surveying methods in which water samples are used to detect the DNA of specific species.
Traditional methods of surveying great crested newts include: bottle trapping, egg-searching, hand netting and night torching. These surveying methods can be labour intensive and carry certain risks. By contrast, DNA testing can determine great crested newt presence or absence from just one visit to their suspected breeding ponds with minimal disturbance.
Where great crested newts are found in areas targeted with infrastructure development, delays may be faced while traditional surveys are taking place. DNA testing can be used as an additional technique to complement traditional survey methods. Our DNA kit can provide the initial prompt indication of great crested newt presence, affordably and professionally. This kit is ideal for ecological impact assessments and evaluation of conservation measures.
If you suspect great crested newts on your development site, don’t hesitate to contact us.
About Great Crested Newts
The Great Crested Newt (Triturus crisatus) is the rarest and largest of the three native newt species in Britain. Also known as the ‘warty newt’, the Great Crested Newt have near black, rough, granular skins. Both sexes have yellowy-orange underbellies with random black spots. These patterns of black spots are as unique as a fingerprint. During the breeding season male newts have a long, wavy prominent crest along their bodies and tail.
The great crested newt population is currently in decline. Consequently, this species are a European protected species and in the UK they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. 1981. Hereby it is illegal to capture, kill, injure or disturb great crested newts or cause damage their habitats without a license.
Great crested newts are sensitive to water quality changes. Likewise, industrial pollution of water and the destruction and drainage of their habitats are harmful.
How Does DNA Testing Work?
DNA collected in your pond water sample is extracted. An amplification process targeting the DNA of great crested newts is carried out. Amplified DNA is then sequenced in a process that reads the genetic code. If great crested newts are present in your pond water sample the DNA sequence will match against this species in a database of known species.