Human activity can have such a devastating impact on animal populations in even the most remote locations. The Proteus project are using the Hach DR300 handheld water analysis photometers to measure the levels of chemicals present in a cave systems in the hopes of saving an endangered species.
The European cave salamander Proteus anguinus is an endangered cave-dwelling amphibian that is suffering the consequences of water pollution. It’s main habitat are caves systems in Central and South-eastern Europe. The Proteus salamander can live only in chemically clean water. This is water not only free of contaminants produced by human activities but also free of a specific range of natural mineral constituents. The most damaging of these include nitrates, nitrites, free ammonia and ammonium ions. Levels of these contaminants can rise in water bodies due to a range of human activities including leeching from landfill sites, poorly regulated waste water treatment and use of agrochemicals. The Proteus project are planning on undertaking further research and monitoring of water quality in selected habitat locations with the hopes of protecting this endangered species.
The Hach DR300 is a robust handheld single-parameter photometer making it ideal for applications like this out in the field. It is simple to use with a very user-friendly interface and large LCD display. It’s waterproof (IP67) design withstands whatever conditions you encounter in the field (drops, extreme temperatures, rain and dirt) and still delivers years of dependable, accurate measurements. The DR300 is available in dozens of parameters including ammonium and nitrate which are being used in the Proteus Project.