Great Crested Newts (Triturus cristatus) are the largest native species of newt found in Britain, growing up to 17cm long and living for as long as 27 years.
During breeding season, females lay up to 300 eggs, each individually wrapped in its own leaf.
In addition to the large crest on breeding males, Great Crested Newts can be identified by their size, their warty skin, and the yellow stripes on their toes!
Great Crested Newt is protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2017) and receive further protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended. This makes it an offence to deliberately or recklessly damage or destroy any structure or place which Great Crested Newt use for shelter or protection, disturb Great Crested Newt while occupying a structure or place which it uses for shelter or protection or obstruct access to any structure or place which they use for shelter or protection.
Great Crested Newt is also a Species of Principal Importance under the NERC Act 2006.
Types of Survey
Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) – Waterbodies are assessed for their suitability as habitat for Great Crested Newt. This is done by assessing ten attributes including shading, presence of fish and coverage of aquatic plants.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) – In order to assess presence or likely absence of Great Crested Newt in a waterbody, water samples are taken and sent to an accredited laboratory to check for the presence of Great Crested Newt DNA.
Trapping – Bottle traps are set up at night, and collected early the following morning. Any animals caught in the traps are counted and released back into their habitat.
Torch surveys – High powered torches are used to search for Great Crested Newt.
Egg Searching – Eggs are searched for in the vegetation to confirm whether Great Crested Newt is breeding in a waterbody.
Netting – A specialist net can be used to capture Great Crested Newt individuals.
Great Crested Newt Licence
We hold the necessary survey licence to undertake all of the above survey types, and the experience to provide technical reports and advise on suitable mitigations or enhancements to suit your specific project.
Several types of survey for Great Crested Newt are restricted to a short period in the year (eg. between mid-March and July) so contacting us as early as possible in your project is crucial to assist in the smooth running of your project.