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Environmental DNA – or eDNA - analytical methods are effective for estimating site occupancy and species distribution of aquatic organisms.

Since the use of eDNA was first used in 2008 to detect invasive bullfrogs in wetlands, the field has evolved to increase detection of rare, secretive, and threatened and endangered species with high sensitivity and minimal cost. It is being widely adopted by state and federal agencies for early detection of aquatic invasive species, assessing species distributions, and aquatic biodiversity. Due to the extreme sensitivity of detection, eDNA is a key component of early detection and rapid response monitoring programs, monitoring species of concern, and studying species’ movement and habitat use. USGS ecologist David Pilliod will provide ecological guidance, consultation in project development, protocols, sampling design, molecular techniques, statistical analysis, interpretation, and reporting for various eDNA research projects related to species detection.

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