The Conservancy uses cutting-edge scientific methods such as Environmental DNA (eDNA) to monitor our wildlife. Through the collection and analysis of pond water, Conservancy staff, volunteers, and interns can detect the presence of rarely-observed species on The Preserve. 

Currently the method is used to monitor endangered California Tiger Salamanders. These amphibians seek habitat in vernal pools, grasslands, and oak woodlands. Visual monitoring is difficult, as they live underground in the abandoned burrows of ground squirrels and burrowing owls and are highly elusive. Instead, using eDNA analysis, we can detect the presence of the target species from trace concentrations of  genetic materials in a water sample. Conservancy staff gathers this information each year; the findings are logged and shared in the conservation community, contributing to a greater understanding of the species and the conditions that may help it thrive.