To discover the DNA of muskrats in the water, many samples have to be taken with the “autosampler”. Now a more compact and user-friendly version of this autosampler is available.
The autosampler is a device with the size of a large lunch box. It uses GPS to keep track of where it is. It takes a ‘sip’ of the water to be sampled every few meters. The device can be used in a boat, a canoe, on a quad or on foot.
Mirjam Boonstra, Project Leader at the University of Amsterdam, is enthusiastic. “The university’s technical center has made this new version. We are very happy with it. The autosampler is now small and less heavy. It is a great improvement.”
This summer there will be also experimented with making maps of the sampling routes. Boonstra: “We expect the results of this experiment this autumn. We will come back to that in the end of the year!”
The cooperation with the regional water authorities is going smoothly. “We cannot manage the muskrat trappers ourselves,” says Boonstra. “The regional water authorities are responsible therefor. We have contact persons there with whom we discuss the experiments. It is nice to receive feedback from them about how things can be improved. After all, they have the field experience.”
The eDNA project is now in a new phase where more extensive field testing is taking place. Boonstra: “It is important to know that what we have done in the pilot phase also works on a larger scale. That is a new phase. This good cooperation is therefore becoming even more important.”