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Great Crested Newts (Triturus Cristatus) in garden ponds

This is a discussion on Great Crested Newts (Triturus Cristatus) in garden ponds within the Eurasian Newts (Triturus, former Triturus, Calotriton & Euproctus).. forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; I'll try to answer your questions because no one has so far, but I am not an expert on Triturus ...

Eurasian Newts (Triturus, former Triturus, Calotriton & Euproctus).. Triturus and its relatives (Ichthyosaura/Mesotriton, Lissotriton, and Ommatotriton) are a diverse and widespread group of newts. While mainly European, several species can be found in the Near and Middle East. Euproctus, the brook newts, are confined to Corsica and Sardinia.


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Old 20th December 2008   #41 (permalink)
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Default Re: Great Crested Newts (Triturus Cristatus) in garden ponds

I'll try to answer your questions because no one has so far, but I am not an expert on Triturus cristatus.

- Salamandrids can easily live 10 years and many can live a heck of a lot longer than that (I don't have any records specific to this species).
- In captivity they can mature in 2 years (everything going well). In the wild it's likely to take twice that. If you find a large adult the chances are it's at least 5 years old.
- As far as I'm aware, the crested newt group are very hydrophobic until they are close to sexual maturity, but after they reach that stage they will often stay in water for long periods of time (months) and they have been documented as entering and leaving ponds regularly. Among European newts that leave the water at all, these are some of the most willingly aquatic as large juveniles and adults.
- Wandering under your kitchen door is likely due to dispersal during periods of rain.
- I can't advise you definitively on the license but as far as I'm aware the situation is still governed by the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside act, which pre-dates your license (so your license is probably still valid). Caleb Leeke on our forum is probably the best person to ask about this.

Definitely consider James' book if you want to promote them in your garden (but it seems you have this part figured out already). If you want to learn more about newts then you've come to the right place. I would also suggest visiting amphibiaweb.org.

Best wishes,

-John
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Old 22nd December 2008   #42 (permalink)
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Default Re: Great Crested Newts (Triturus Cristatus) in garden ponds

Just to add to John's answers-

Field studies in the UK suggest that maturity in the wild is usually at three years old.

Juveniles sometimes stay in the water for a while after metamorphosis, and also occasionally return to the water in subsequent years.

As far as I know, all licences state the period they're valid for (this is specified in the Wildlife & Countryside Act). It would be safer to assume that the old licence (presumably issued by the now non-existent NCC) is no longer valid.

It shouldn't be difficult to get a replacement licence if you can get a local expert to 'sponsor' you; application forms are on the Natural England website:

http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/con...euro-protected

Your local ARG group might also be able to help with this:
http://www.herefordhart.org
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Old 22nd December 2008   #43 (permalink)
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Default Re: Great Crested Newts (Triturus Cristatus) in garden ponds

For those in the UK - you will be able to obtain a licence if you sign up to help monitor the herpetofauna in your local area, the HCT and its partners will be conducting training events early next year. Please visit their website http://www.narrs.org.uk/ for more info. I have been informed that the site will be updated very soon detailing dates and locations of events.
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Old 23rd December 2008   #44 (permalink)
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Default Re: Great Crested Newts (Triturus Cristatus) in garden ponds

I believe that the oldest GCN kept in captivity lived for 27 years.

In my experience GCN start to breed at 3 to 4 years old. Interestingly (based on observation and field work)adult GCN in the wild may not breed every year.

I have found that a small number of sub-adult GCN will return to my garden pond in years 2 and 3 (apparently to feed). These returning sub-adult GCN often stay in the pond throughout the spring and summer.

I note that you are based in Wales? if you want a GCN licence for working with GCN in Wales(including undertaking surveys for the species) you will need to apply to the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) rather than Natural England and slightly different rules apply.

Obviously I would reccommend that everybody purchases a copy of my book 'Newts in your pond and garden'.

Cheers

Jim

Last edited by crested; 23rd December 2008 at 21:42. Reason: Add Infomation
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Old 19th February 2009   #45 (permalink)
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Default Re: Great Crested Newts (Triturus Cristatus) in garden ponds

Hi all

I have just come in from my garden; 7 GCN (2 males in breeding condition and 5 females) and 1 common frog seen in the garden pond. also approxamatly 15 smooth/palmate newts.

Another 3 GCN (2 males 1 female) were found on the lawn making their way back to the pond.

No newt eggs or frog spawn in the pond yet, but I am calling the start of spring 2009 in Cheshire!

Cheers

Jim
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