Image: Manning River Turtle – photo taken by Gary Stephenson.
If you’re interested in science or our beautiful creeks and rivers, join a free Science Week presentation.
Join scientists from the University of Canberra and Charles Sturt University, along with MidCoast Council’s natural systems team as the results of an innovative local environmental-DNA study are revealed. The free webinar is on Tuesday 16 August from 12noon to 1pm.
You’ll get to know the diversity of animals in our waterways, including the platypus, Australian Bass and Manning River Turtle. You’ll hear about the ways eDNA can be used to help build knowledge about species like the Manning River Turtle, where little is known about its distribution. You’ll also be able to discuss findings with university researchers and other experts.
The information comes from the work of citizen scientists, including representatives from ten schools and organisations in the Manning region. These volunteers recently used e-DNA technology to sample the Manning and Lansdowne Rivers and Dingo, Mooral, and Killabakh Creeks. At Gloucester, samples were taken from the Gloucester, Avon and Bowman Rivers.
“The benefit of citizen science projects like this is that it can enable data collection across a vast scale. The eDNA information extracted from the water samples provides a snapshot of biodiversity across our region.
“From just a few hundred millilitres of water, we were able to identify taxa spanning aquatic, terrestrial and avian systems including fish, birds, frogs and mammals,” said Dr Elise Furlan, Senior Research Fellow in Molecular Ecology at the University of Canberra’s Institute for Applied Ecology.
MidCoast Council’s Manager of Natural Systems, Gerard Tuckerman added, “The project forms part of Council’s effort to protect and improve the health and function of local catchments and waterways and we are pleased to be part of this positive event. There are going to be some really interesting findings revealed, so do sign up.”
The Manning River Turtle Group, with support from Manning Valley Neighbourhood Services, has coordinated this project. It was supported by funding from a National Science Week grant from the Australian Government.
To sign up for the webinar, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/inspiring-the-midcoast-with-edna-science-a-presentation-of-the-results-tickets-387327816927