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Old 3rd August 2019   #1
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Default Newts and Duck Week

I've allowed a large above-ground swimming pool to evolve into a habitat for wild amphibians. Last year there was a huge influx of newts and salamanders which bred and remained to hibernate. I guestimate that by this spring there were a couple of dozen.

This year for the first time, the pool became over-grown with duckweed. I removed a third of it, but discovered tadpoles and newt larvae in the roots that had to be carefully returned to the water. (It was a miserable time-consuming exercise, and felt invasive.)

I've tried to research the subject but found volumes of contradictory information:

- duckweed reduces the oxygen content when it completely covers the water, by preventing free exchange with the atmosphere
- duckweed promotes the growth of harmful bacteria
- as opposed to: duckweek is part of the natural environment for amphibians and isn't a problem

I've attempted to mitigate the possible harmful effects by increasing the number of beneficial plants such as water hyacinths and sea lettuce, to oxygenate and purify the water.

My plan at this point is is to wait until fall when breeding is over and then remove the duck weed.

I'd very much appreciate feedback from people with expertise in wild newts and salamanders.

I've attached a couple of photos. More can be found here on Flickr:

Thank you.

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amphibian, duckweed, habitat, newt, salamander

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