All posts tagged: Spiderwebs

Spiderwebs trap environmental DNA, enabling animal monitoring and conservation

Spiderwebs trap environmental DNA, enabling animal monitoring and conservation

[ad_1] Spiderwebs can act as air filters that catch environmental DNA from terrestrial vertebrates, scientists say. Rob Stothard/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Rob Stothard/Getty Images Spiderwebs can act as air filters that catch environmental DNA from terrestrial vertebrates, scientists say. Rob Stothard/Getty Images The rich tapestry of life on Earth is fraying, due in large part to human-caused habitat loss and climate change. As more species disappear, researchers are racing to track this global decline in biodiversity to understand its consequences and counteract it through conservation initiatives. Those efforts rely on accurate animal monitoring, which can be difficult, time-consuming and costly. Now, in new research published in the journal iScience, researchers present evidence for a new low-cost, noninvasive tool that can be used to monitor animals: spiderwebs. Here’s how things worked for a while: If you wanted to know which animals were in a particular place, you’d hike or climb into their habitat and then wait to see or hear them. But that approach can have its drawbacks. “If you’re going into an inhospitable …