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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Monitoring a breeding population of crested newts (Triturus cristatus) in a housing development

Published source details

Cooke A.S. (1997) Monitoring a breeding population of crested newts (Triturus cristatus) in a housing development. Herpetological Journal, 7, 37-41


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Regulate water levels Amphibian Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1986–1995 of a pond within a housing development near Peterborough, England, UK (Cooke 1997) found that deepening the pond and regulating water levels maintained great crested newt Triturus cristatus and smooth newt Triturus vulgaris populations. Before the development, numbers varied for great crested newts (1–9) and smooth newts (1–2). Adults of both species returned to breed in 1989–1995 following the development (crested: 10–20; smooth: 9–57). However, production of metamorphs failed in 1990 due to pond drying. Larval catches increased in 1991 following maintenance of water levels (crested: 62; smooth: 22), but then decreased (crested: 15 to 0; smooth: 27 to 2). Development was undertaken in 1987–1989. The pond (800 m2) was deepened in 1988 and water pumped to the pond from 1991. A 1 ha area was retained around the pond. Newts were counted by torch and larvae netted once or twice in 1986–1987 and 3–4 times in March–May 1988–1995.

 

(Summarised by Rebecca K Smith)

Remove or control fish by drying out ponds Amphibian Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1986–1995 of a pond within a housing development near Peterborough, England, UK (Cooke 1997) found that fish removal by pond drying, along with pond deepening, maintained populations of great crested newts Triturus cristatus and smooth newts Triturus vulgaris seven years after the development. Larval catches increased the year after fish removal (crested: 37; smooth: 13) and then varied (crested: 1–14; smooth: 1–22). Although adults of both species reproduced after the development (crested: 41–102; smooth: 7–68), production of metamorphs failed in 1990 due to introduction of three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus. Development was undertaken in 1987–1989. The pond (800 m2) was deepened in 1988 and fish were removed by pond drying in 1990. A 1 ha area was retained around the pond. Newts were counted by torch and larvae netted once or twice in 1986–1987 and 3–4 times in March–May 1988–1995.

 

Deepen, de-silt or re-profile ponds Amphibian Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1986–1995 of two ponds within a housing development near Peterborough, UK (Cooke 1997) found that pond deepening, fish removal and regulation of water levels resulted in the maintenance of great crested newt Triturus cristatus and smooth newt Triturus vulgaris numbers seven years after development. Pre-development numbers were variable for great crested (29–102) and smooth newts (10–18). Adults of both species returned to breed in 1989–1990 following development (crested: 51–67; smooth: 16–42) and until 1995 (crested: 55–123; smooth: 33–125). However, production of metamorphs failed in 1990 due to three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus in one pond and drying of the other. Larval catches increased in 1991 following fish removal (crested: 37; smooth: 13) and maintenance of water level (crested: 62; smooth: 22) and then varied in each pond (crested: 1–15; smooth: 1–27). Development was undertaken in 1987–1989. Ponds (800 m2) were deepened in 1988, fish removed by pond drying in 1990 and water pumped to the pond that dried naturally from 1991. A 1 ha area was retained around ponds. Newts were counted by torch and larvae netted once or twice in 1986–1987 and 3–4 times in March–May 1988–1995.

 

(Summarised by Rebecca K Smith)