jayto's picture

Smooth newts

Observed: 30th April 2013 By: jayto
Description:

72 newts were counted when 5 dipping nets were dipped for a period of 10-15 min in the school pond.Is this a record? Pond is quite small - 4m x 3 m. We would like to know if this is unusual - the newts are there to breed. Will the pond be overpopulated? The newts do eat some of the other creatures.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) interacts

Comments

Amadan's picture

Overcrowding

Excessive numbers of newts (or other amphibians) isn't unusual. It often arises from a lack of other suitable ponds nearby, perhaps due to recent development; or just a population explosion caused by a very good year in the recent past.
If your pond has steep slippery sides - common in pre-formed plastic ones - then they simply can't get out. Put in a couple of ramps (untreated wood with a stone on one end) to give them an escape route.
It usually sorts itself out - although to us rather brutally - by predation and starvation.
You can create new ponds and encourage them to move. But translocation needs to be done with care to avoid spreading disease and undesirable other species.
If you do create a pond (a very good deed!), it needs to be left for several months to "settle down" before attempting to introduce anything.