eDNA: The New Surveillance Tool in the Hunt for Rare Animals

If you were hired to find out whether the devastating zebra or quagga mussels had invaded Swan Lake, how might you go about it? What if your job was to discover whether an isolated population of bull trout or pure cutthroat trout was hiding out in some remote headwater? Would you search every cubic meter of water in either system? How?

Lucky for you, you’re off the hook, because there are already folks trying to get answers to questions like these and they’re armed with a new surveillance tool: eDNA.

You probably already know that forensic scientists can help identify human criminals or victim...


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