Spring 2023

Newsletter Archive


eDNA Training - Kicking off Amphibian Season with eDNA Sampling

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Miistakis held training last week on collecting amphibian eDNA samples, a technique that will be used to better understand amphibians and ecological connectivity in the Calgary metropolitan region. Environmental DNA, or eDNA, is DNA that has been naturally expelled from an organism into the environment (such as in water or soil). During the training led by Kimberly Pearson, Ecosystem Scientist - Nature Legacy Program for Waterton Lakes National Park, we learned how to sterilize equipment, take pond water samples, and filter the samples in preparation to send to an eDNA lab. The lab will then determine which amphibian species are present in our samples. This technique has many advantages - it is less time-consuming and more cost-efficient than traditional biological surveys, accurate, and is non-invasive. The resulting amphibian data will then be used to determine amphibian core habitat and connections, ultimately to inform the development of an ecological network for the region. As well, this data will expand our "Call of the Wetland" dataset of amphibian presence within Calgary collected by citizen scientists. Merci Pierre Bolduc for welcoming us to hold the training on his beautiful property!

A special thanks to the Calgary Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Enbridge for their support of this project.