In the Netherlands muskrats are caught in order to prevent damage to dykes and embankments. It may sound strange, but it is true: muskrats can be detected using DNA techniques. The muskrat leaves a trace of DNA in the water. The trace comes from faeces, hair, skin cells and the like. We can measure the DNA in surface waters and find out if muskrats are living in the area, or not.

Together with our project partners, University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Datura we are conducting a pilot study for STOWA and the Union of waterboards (UvW) to find out what the added value of the technology is. How much advantage is there in searching for muskrats in this way? The results are expected in early 2018.

For more information about this project, or the measurement of eDNA from other animal species, please contact Thommy Verschuuren.

Thommy Verschuuren works at Orvion looking from innovative and often unexpected angles at the challenges that face customers. He likes to show that cost savings and sustainable development can go hand in hand. “Often the green solution is also the economically advantageous solution, but it just does not occur to you”.

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