Environmental DNA (eDNA) refers to all the small traces of genetic material that are left behind as living things pass through the soil or water. We have taken six samples across the Catchment and now have a list of all of the eDNA of the species found in the Catchment.
This can help with invasive species detection, ecosystem health evaluation and we have even found the eDNA of some species that we did not know were in the Styx including the New Zealand Long-Tailed Bat and the Freshwater Jellyfish.
The NZ Long-Tailed Bat is a threatened ‘nationally critical’ species which is the closest conservation status to extinction. The last reported sightings of this bat in Christchurch were almost 150 years ago. We have started undertaking bat detection surveys and if you have seen any bats in your backyard then we would love to hear from you.
Read more about this discovery here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/129599610/native-bat-dna-unexpectedly-found-in-christchurch