Monitoring biodiversity using traditional methods can often be challenging and costly. With threats to our natural world mounting, it is now more important than ever to monitor ecological systems quickly and efficiently, to help us protect and conserve the planet for nature and people.
Animals naturally shed DNA through their feces, skin, and hair as they move throughout their environment. By taking samples of soil, water, snow, or even air, we can access this environmental DNA (or eDNA) and each animal’s unique genetic code left in an ecosystem. eDNA can then be used to detect endangered species, study the impacts of climate change, alert us to invisible threats such as pathogens, and assess the overall health of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.