Finding finches

29 August 2018

Finding and monitoring rare and broadly dispersed animals like the beautiful and endangered Gouldian Finch can be a challenge in remote, data-poor areas like much of northern Australia. A new Hub project led by Professor Karen Gibb at Charles Darwin University and Dr Alaric Fisher of the Northern Territory Government is developing eDNA (environmental DNA) methods to detect the Gouldian Finch, and comparing these methods with traditional monitoring to assess their usefulness for regional surveys. Determining the presence of animals such as birds by detecting their DNA in water where they drink and bathe is a relatively new application of eDNA techniques which until recently have focussed on aquatic species. Such cost-effective methods to detect animals supports development planning, effective land and water management and impact assessment. See the project webpage for more information.

Gouldians

Gouldian Finch DNA may be detected in waterholes where they drink or bathe. Minden Pictures/Alamy Stock Photo.

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