How do you carry out GCN surveys?

GCN are typically monitored using a combination of torchlight surveys, bottle trapping, egg searches and netting. Many of these activities will require a licence as they involve disturbance or capture of GCN. Four site visits using three of these methods must be undertaken, with at least two visits during mid-April to mid-May to determine presence/likely absence. If GCN are found to be a present during these surveys a further two visits using three methods must be undertaken to establish the relative abundance or population size.. eDNA analysis is a non-invasive, time-efficient and cost-effective alternative that can be used by both professionals and volunteers. This involves the capture and analysis of DNA left behind by GCN in the water column (e.g. mucus, skin cells, eggs, faeces). eDNA survey only requires a single visit to determine GCN presence/likely absence, but cannot be used to provide estimates of relative abundance.

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