Ribble Trust are excited to be taking part in the 1000 Rivers Project. This project, led by the University of Hull aims to take eDNA samples from 1000 rivers in the British Isles, Continental Europe, and Canada. The Trust will be collecting 5 samples from the Ribble catchment and 5 samples from the Douglas catchment.
As we already know our rivers have the potential to support a huge variety of wildlife, but centuries of river mismanagement and pollution have severely damaged river habitats and reduced water quality. In turn this has resulted in severely reduced wildlife populations.
Thankfully massive improvements have already been made, and much needed improvements are still ongoing. To measure the results of these improvements we use a variety of monitoring schemes, including the brilliant Riverfly Monitors scheme which is led by our amazing volunteers.
The 1000 Rivers Project is another way of monitoring our rivers but uses new eDNA technology to look at the fish community. All river dwellers release their DNA into the water, this project involves collecting water samples, which are then filtered, before being passed to a laboratory for analysis. This will help us find out which species are present in the river at the time of sampling. Additionally, it will help us to determine whether or not the invasive pink salmon Onchorhynchus gorbuscha are residing in the Ribble.
Rivers Trusts including East Yorkshire, Eden, Mersey, Northumberland, Ouse & Adur, Tyne, South Cumbria and West Cumbria are participating in the project alongside Marine Scotland Science and Cefas.
For more information on the project please visit the 1000 rivers website.