Environmental DNA: a cool new science that will benefit your ecological restoration

Jake Riley, Josh Running, Mary Murdoch

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Finding Nemo – searching for species is a central part of what our scientists do each day.  As we continue to push towards monitoring and restoring critical habitat around the world, the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) is gaining traction.  Traditional surveys can be arduous, requiring permits and many hours in the field to capture, handle, and observe target species, often in remote areas. Is there a better way? Yes. eDNA tools are being used to detect species by sampling their habitat, such as a stream or coastal waters, without having to observe or capture them or disturb their environment. These tools are proving to be better for detecting species, less harmful to organisms, require fewer field staff, are safer for staff and take less time for sampling than traditional methods.  At Stantec, we have been using eDNA for several years in aquatic and terrestrial projects, exploring inland and coastal areas to answer key questions for our clients. Now, as our eDNA applications have advanced, we see more opportunities to use these tools to plan and measure success for our ecosystem restoration projects.  Tracking the migration of anadromous fish after a large dam removal project?  Searching for threatened and endangered mussels after recreating their critical habitat? In this webinar, our eDNA practitioners and restoration specialists will share how we have been using eDNA for our projects, and where the next chapter is taking us.

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Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program