The Great Crested Newt Survey season is open

April 2024

The Great Crested Newt Survey season is open

We are well into Great Crested Newt Season which continues until the end of June. There are two methods used to typically determine presence / absence of newts, namely ‘standard or alternatively ‘environmental DNA surveys’.Standard surveys. Presence / Absence can be determined by undertaking four surveys. If presence is determined, then a further two ‘standard’ surveys are required to establish the population size. Surveys should be carried out between mid-March and mid-June, with half of the surveys undertaken between mid-April and mid-May. Surveys should ideally be spaced out so we would recommend starting any survey work as early as possible.To determine the presence or presumed absence of Great Crested Newts within a waterbody, methods typically involved include bottle trapping, torch surveying and egg searching:

💧 Bottle trapping involves setting traps within the waterbody which are left overnight before being checked the following morning;

🔦 Torch surveying involves using high-powered torches to find and, if possible, count the number of adults of each amphibian species;

🥚 Egg searching involves the examination of submerged and marginal aquatic vegetation around each water-body for newt eggs, usually laid singly and enfolded in leaves.

eDNA surveys. Alternatively, presence / absence can be determined by testing water samples from ponds for Great Crested Newt DNA (eDNA surveys), which can be carried out between mid-April to 30 June. If presence is determined, an additional six ‘standard’ surveys may be required to assess the population size.

More details of species seasonal survey requirements can be found in our survey calendar here.

Did you know, Great Crested Newts have been around for approximately 40 million years!

Follow Aspect Ecology on LinkedIn for all our latest news LinkedIn Page