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Bucket traps for newts

This is a discussion on Bucket traps for newts within the Field Herping Discussion forums, part of the Fieldwork / Fieldherping category; The following pictures were taken during a field trip to newt breeding ponds, organized by the local chapter of NABU ...

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Old 12th May 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bucket traps for newts

The following pictures were taken during a field trip to newt breeding ponds, organized by the local chapter of NABU (German NGO) / Northern North-Rhine-Westphalia / Western Germany / March 2009.
The pictured traps were used to document breeding activity of the three newt species native to this area (which are aquatic only during spawning season with individual exceptions by Triturus cristatus) and, to some extent, to assess the breeding population of Triturus cristatus (capture-recapture-method by means of individual ventral patterns).
The traps were controlled daily and newts were released back into the ponds after documentation.

The floating trap is secured with a line in the pond. Note that the floating bodies on the sides of the trap are also very important to ensure sufficient airspace underneath the lid of the bucket. Trapped newts would drown without this possibility to breathe.

Bucket traps for newts-trap1.jpg

A view of the interior of the trap. The soda-bottlenecks function as funnels. The newt enters the bucket through the bottleneck, but is not able to leave the bucket again (similar to a trap for minnows or crawfish). Bottom and lid of the bucket are perforated to ensure a quick flooding when the trap is put in place in the water.

Bucket traps for newts-trap2.jpg

Triturus cristatus, Mesotriton alpestris and Lissotriton vulgaris were found in the traps. A nice M. alpestris-female in this case.

Bucket traps for newts-trap3.jpg

There was quite a crowd of children accompanying the grown-ups. Seemed like they all had a great time.

Bucket traps for newts-lissotriton.jpg



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Old 12th May 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bucket traps for newts

I used a similar method once and had pretty good results. The trap used the same funnel mouth technique and floaters to ensure air-space. I ended up finding a few N.viridescens in the trap after it had been left over night.



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Old 13th May 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bucket traps for newts

Very interesting Ralf, thanks for posting!



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Old 13th May 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Red face Re: Bucket traps for newts

What do you use to bait them? Forgive me if this is a stupid question, I am a dart frogger new to newts.



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Old 13th May 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default AW: Bucket traps for newts

Not a stupid question at all, Paul. This kind of trap works without bait. The newts are very active during breeding season. They catch themselves by just exploring the breeding pond and its "inventory".



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Old 13th May 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: AW: Bucket traps for newts

Ralf is right. This works on any aquatic salamander you can think of (including Sirens and Mudpuppies).



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Old 13th May 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bucket traps for newts

Cool, will try this. Thanks guys for answering.



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Old 13th May 2009   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bucket traps for newts

Very interesting! I have used floating island live traps for turtles in the past, but this method for newts is new to me. Interestingly enough, I have a rather large collection of buckets and plastic bottles here....

I will have to try this one out!



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