newt novice?

mitchell01

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Hi there - I am a complete novice when it comes to breeding newts. Im a teacher and have a large pond at school which we would very much like to have newts in. I have a large tank at home and the ideal would be to buy some native newts to grow until large enough to be put into the pond and then breed for themselves. I am in the process of installing a large pond on my own land and would definately like to introduce them there as well....as a beginner, who do I approach to obtain my potential new friends and whats the plan of attack?

Many thanks,
 

rigsby

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Ian Rigg
first of all if theres fish in the pond don't bother the newts won't settle. If you want smooth or palmate newts you can simply catch a few and release them in your ponds but i would wait until your pond is mature before attemping this ,they will also need a somewhere to hibernate as they will only use the ponds to breed in. Another way would be to obtain eggs and put these in the ponds but you must be careful when collecting eggs to make sure they are not great crested newt eggs. If you wanted crested newts you can buy the eggs of a licenced breeder ,the only one i know is a man called Charles snell who you can reach at newtsrus@ntlworld.com but you will have to be quick if you want some this year.
pm or e-mail me if you need more info....ian
 

Aplestris

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Hi there - I am a complete novice when it comes to breeding newts. Im a teacher and have a large pond at school which we would very much like to have newts in. I have a large tank at home and the ideal would be to buy some native newts to grow until large enough to be put into the pond and then breed for themselves. I am in the process of installing a large pond on my own land and would definately like to introduce them there as well....as a beginner, who do I approach to obtain my potential new friends and whats the plan of attack?

Many thanks,
Hi Mitchell :)
Please bear in mind that you could possibly spread diseases by moving newts but if there is not a population at the new site already there isn't a huge risk.

PLAN 1; Not as recommended
First of all, your going to want to research about the newts.
I would go for Smooth Newts (Lissotriton Vulgaris) as they are the most widespread and it is not illegal to collect them. They are medium to small sized at 8-10cm when adult. The females are a shade of brown and are pregnant at this time of year. The males have spots and a crest and are grey in colour.
Anyways, you will need to find a site which has Smooth Newts and only Smooth Newts. Great Crested Newts (Triturus Cristatus) are illegal to handle or disturb without permission/guidance from a license-holder. The larvae or eggs should be in the pond at the moment as it is their breeding season. Adults will get stressed out and probably try to return to their pond if they are taken.
This page will help you to raise the eggs/larvae if you want to do it yourself or you could place them into the pond about a week after it has been filled (but some pondwater from their original pond and some pond plants). Caudata Culture Articles - Raising Newts and Salamanders from Eggs
The larvae are hard to spot as they are very small but if you just want them to exist there to conserve them instead of being there to look at it might be worth it.
Also, you will not see adult newts in the pond until a few years after when the larvae have become adults and as I said before if you add adults they will probably try to return and die.
It isn't impossible for newts to already be living in the area and they may colonise it by themselves.

PLAN 2; more recommended
If you do want to see adults, I recommend you to construct a pond in the school which is raised (also prevents accidents with children) and it's sides have an overhang along the inside to prevent newts all along the edge. Or it could be something like this (not my picture).
This can be used to house some Alpine newts (Ichthyosaura Alpestris) which can be bought legally in the UK as they are non native. They are also a bit more colourful and will be seen more often as they are usually more aquatic but the pond needs to be 100% escape proof as it is illegal to release them into the wild in the UK. It also needs a small land area in it.

Sorry I rambled on a bit but you might be able to see that it is not as simple as adding some newts although you COULD if you found a breeder of Smooth Newts or another native species.
 
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