Biologists and conservationists are looking for traces of DNA in water samples in order to detect the presence of rare aquatic species, according to NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
With the aid of DNA testing technology, biologists can study and track elusive species, such as the hellbender salamander of North America. In the past, locating one of these creatures required plenty of wading and looking under rocks. Testing for DNA in water samples is a less invasive method, and can even determine if a species is breeding.
Although DNA testing has proven itself as an effective tool in conservation efforts, Philip Thomsen from the University of Copenhagen noted that habitat managers and governments must also get involved to help vulnerable species.