Environmental DNA (eDNA) is an effective tool for the detection of elusive or low-density aquatic organisms. However, it has infrequently been applied to mammalian species. North American river otters (Lontra canadensis) are both broad ranging and semi-aquatic, making them an ideal candidate for examining the uses of eDNA for detection of mammals. We developed a speciesspecific assay for detection of North American river otters using eDNA. The assay was tested for specificity against closely-related mustelids native to western North America, and was validated through testing environmental samples.
Padgett-Stewart, Ticha M.; Wilcox, Taylor M.; Carim, Kellie J.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K. 2016. An eDNA assay for river otter detection: A tool for surveying a semi-aquatic mammal. Conservation Genetics Resources. 8: 5-7.