Individual study: Translocation of a population of great crested newts (Triturus cristatus): a Scottish case study
McNeill D.C. (2010) Translocation of a population of great crested newts (Triturus cristatus): a Scottish case study. PhD thesis. Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. University of Glasgow.
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Create ponds for great crested newts
A replicated, before-and-after study in 1999–2006 of eight created ponds at a restored steelwork site in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK (McNeill 2010) found that small numbers of great crested newts Triturus cistatus colonized seven of the ponds within three years. Within one year, three of eight ponds were colonized by breeding newts. Up to six newts used each pond annually in 2000–2003. In 2006, the habitat suitability for newts for five of the created ponds was categorized as ‘average’ to ‘good’ (Habitat Suitability Index: 0.6–0.7). Two ponds were dry. There was no significant difference between the habitat suitability of created and existing ponds. Eight ponds were constructed in 1999. Newts were monitored by torchlight sampling, egg counts and metamorph counts at the perimeter fence. Created ponds were compared to seven existing ponds.
Translocate great crested newts
A before-and-after study in 2006–2009 in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK (McNeill 2010) found that translocations maintained a great crested newt Triturus cristatus breeding population in the short term. Breeding adult counts were higher after translocation (100–299 vs 66–140). Adult survival rate was 43% and there was some recruitment into the breeding population. However, numbers of eggs, larvae and metamorphs suggested breeding failure and low juvenile survival and recruitment. In 2008, no eggs or larvae were recorded in half of the 25 ponds. Metamorph counts decreased significantly from 39 in 2006 to five in 2009. The newt population was translocated from the original site to a created and restored site (29 ha; 600 m away) in 2004–2006. A total of 1,594 newts (1,012 adults) were moved. The original site had been monitored for six years before translocation. Monitoring at the release site was undertaken using torchlight sampling, egg counts and metamorph counts at the perimeter fence.