To find out which animal species can be found in water, scientists have long used environmental DNA from water samples, and it seems to work with eDNA from the air as well.
If it does work, it would be an additional tool for monitoring animal species on land, especially in the case of animals that are difficult to monitor by other means. Researchers have already successfully tested the technique in the lab with a colony of hairless mole rats, but it now appears to work in a much more difficult setting.
During the same period, without knowing each other, scientists from England and Denmark managed to use the sniffing technique to detect and identify the DNA of dozens of animal species in and around two zoos. Even up to hundreds of meters from animal enclosures.
The teams – who made it a joint publication – did not use the same types and numbers of sensors. This helps in finding the ideal measuring method. Moreover, this method – as promising as it seems – is far from perfect, because some zoo animals – including the tiger – have not been detected. Why this is so they have yet to find out.
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