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eDNA maps

Interactive maps offer visual explorations of United States Forest Service research, research facilities, and experimental forests and ranges. Each map helps tell the story of the research that goes into understanding our nation’s natural and cultural resources. This page collects interactive maps from the Rocky Mountain Research Station.

A researcher samples water from a river using a plastic cup connected to a tube that leads through a small machine and empties into a water bottle.

Aquatic eDNAtlas Project: Lab results map

The Aquatic eDNAtlas Project uses the open-access eDNAtlas database from the USFS National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation (NGC) to provide spatial information on aquatic species across the United States. The database is populated by samples collected through standardized field sampling protocol implemented by numerous natural resource agencies and non-governmental organizations partnered with NGC. This interactive map showcases results from the Aquatic eDNAtlas Project. Selecting sample areas across the country will show the presence or absence of aquatic species like bull trout, chinook salmon, and boreal toad sampled for in that area.

Three researchers stand in a stream in a forest during a bull trout habitat survey. A fourth researcher climbs up a slope beside the stream.

Aquatic eDNAtlas Project: eDNA field sampling grid

The Aquatic eDNAtlas Project uses the open-access eDNAtlas database from the USFS National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation (NGC) to provide spatial information on aquatic species across the United States. The database is populated by samples collected through standardized field sampling protocol implemented by numerous natural resource agencies and non-governmental organizations partnered with NGC. This map provides a visual display showing areas where samples have already been taken for the Aquatic eDNAtlas Project.

Someone off camera holds a bull trout just above water. The trout has a temporary tag attached under its dorsal fin.

Range-wide bull trout eDNA Project map

Detecting the presence of aquatic species can be an involved and costly process. Recent technology and sampling protocols developed by the USFS National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation have greatly improved the efficiency of assessing species presence by developing the first reliable eDNA assays for a variety of fish. As aquatic species move through the water, they shed DNA material that disperses through the water column and becomes environmental DNA (eDNA). eDNA sampling is a more efficient and sensitive method of species detection. The Range-wide bull trout eDNA project map shows eDNA field collection sites, offering a visual display of areas where the bull trout is present or absent.