Waipu and Bream Tail catchments eDNA sampling and studies
An exciting opportunity has arisen for the Piroa-Brynderwyns Landcare Group (PBL) through funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to work with community groups, iwi/hapū and schools to explore the ecological health of local waterways using a technique called environmental DNA or eDNA.
e-DNA, refers to all the tiny traces of genetic material that are left behind as living things pass through water or soil. Samples of water are taken then analysed to find out what living things are in the water or on land adjacent to the waterways.
A common method for collecting DNA is to use a special collection kit that filters water and traps biological material. The DNA can then be extracted from the material captured on the filter in a lab. The kits we provide are made by Wilderlab, and contain a large syringe with a filter that captures particles containing eDNA. Preservative is then injected into the filter capsule to keep the DNA fresh while it is transported to the laboratory for analysis.
Piroa-Brynderwyns Landcare Group and Waipu Waters applied for eDNA project kits for 2 of the local river catchments: Waipu and Bream Tail (Waipu Cove around to Mangawhai). This will capture information from all the streams that flow out to the Pacific Ocean from the Piroa Brynderwyns.
As sampling time nears the PBL team will be letting local schools and the community know when the sample are going to get underway and inviting participation.
Meantime a gap analysis of existing information (baseline) about the freshwater health of the Waipū River and Bream Tail catchments is being undertaken by Amy Bazeley and Wildlands. Analysis of this information will help to bring together information held by a wide range of different agencies (NRC, WDC, KDC, DOC, Whitebait Connection and iwi/hapū), to find gaps in the existing data and inform a sampling strategy for further investigation as part of the EPA Tūwhera o te Taiao project. Ultimately this information will add to maps of species for the entire Piroa-Brynderwyns High Value Area (HVA).
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